Greece is considering a second lockdown after tourists caused coronavirus cases there to spike

Friday, 17th July 2020, 4:51 pm
Since restarting the tourism industry on 1 July, the country has seen over 100 new positive cases in the last 10 days from foreign tourists. (Credit: Shutterstock)
Since restarting the tourism industry on 1 July, the country has seen over 100 new positive cases in the last 10 days from foreign tourists. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Greece could bring back some lockdown measures, following a spike in coronavirus cases after welcoming back tourists into the country.

In Greece, more than 3,800 have been confirmed to have the virus. This is the highest number of active Covid-19 cases in the country since the start of the pandemic. On 10 July, the daily number of new cases peaked for the first time since 21 April, with 60 new confirmed infections.

Since restarting the tourism industry on 1 July, the country has seen over 100 new positive cases in the last 10 days from foreign tourists.

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How soon could the new lockdown measures be introduced?

UK flights to Greece were permitted to restart from Wednesday 15 July, allowing tourists to return to the popular holiday destination.

However, Greek authorities have since warned of reintroducing stricter lockdown measures.

Stelios Petsas, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesman, said, "We knew from the beginning that when we gradually opened the country's gates to the world, we would have imported incidents."

He added that the government is "determined to protect the majority from the frivolous few."

What measures could be brought back?

According to the UK government website, the current rules in place state any passenger entering Greece is “liable to be asked to undergo a test” and they must “wear face masks at all times when on an aeroplane or ferry travelling to or from Greece; and whilst at airports.”

However, the Greek authorities have said they could reimpose stricter public and travel restrictions, due to government safety advice being frequently ignored. The government there has not yet confirmed the exact lockdown measures they would bring back.

These could possibly include stricter border checks, potential travel restrictions from high risk countries and tougher, more frequent bar and restaurant inspections.

Serbian tourists are currently banned from entering Greece for all but essential travel, after health officials confirmed a spike in cases in the Balkan country.

Additional testing is already occurring at the Greek-Bulgarian border and, as of 14 July, Bulgarians crossing the border into Greece must provide proof that they have tested negative for coronavirus within the last 72 hours, after the country registered a daily record of 330 new infections in one day last week.