Thursday, August 13, 2020

Holidays in Greece: Entry only with QR code

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July 01, 2020 – 1:46 p.m.

Vacation trips to Greece are possible again – however, entry is not as straightforward as before Corona

From July 1st, Greece will again receive tourists from abroad. The country, in which Covid-19 could hardly spread, is heavily dependent on tourism and senses the risk of the virus spreading through international travel. In order to contain this risk, the Greek government has come up with something that could deter some holidaymakers from a trip to Greece and make short-term business trips more difficult.

Registration for entry 48 hours in advance

If you want to enter Greece by land, sea or air, you have to fill in a form from the Greek civil protection authority at least 48 hours before arrival: Here you will find the last place of residence, previous trips to other countries, the length of stay there, as well as the address of the accommodation and a contact person in Greece as described on the registration page. Name, home address, telephone number, age and ID number must also be stored, as the tourism publisher fvw writes.

What happens to the data?

Unfortunately, there is no information on the registration page regarding the protection and storage duration of the data. A spokeswoman for the Greek government assured the “Frankfurter Rundschau” that the information would be anonymized and names would not be saved.

Obtaining a barcode

This is how the control of the barcode at the airport could look like.

© Getty Images/iStockphoto, gong hangxu

After registration, all holidaymakers will receive a barcode by email, which must then be shown on arrival at the respective Greek airport. Without this, entry is not possible. Based on this code or the given answers (the exact criteria are unknown), it is decided whether individual travelers will be tested on Covid-19. According to the Federal Foreign Office, the test is free for travelers.

Quarantine between 36 hours and 14 days

  Snapshot at Athens airport Eleftherios venizelos: While Greece is preparing to open its airports to international tourism, health authorities are aware of the risk of coronavirus epi flare-ups

At Athens Airport, travelers are tested on Covid-19.

© imago images/ANE Edition, Sotiris Dimitropoulos via www.imago-images.de, www.imago-images.de

Whether you are tested as a vacationer on Covid-19 or not, you will only find out when you arrive in Greece. A quarantine of up to 36 hours cannot be avoided for all those tested. It can take that long for the result to be available. If it is positive, the intermediate quarantine is immediately followed by a regular quarantine. A further test would probably be carried out to make sure the infection status is really certain. With the associated waiting time for the new result and the already completed interim quarantine, a few days of vacation could pass without it having started properly.

New regulation through short-term introduction not yet officially confirmed

We also asked the Federal Foreign Office about this new regulation. It confirms the information about the new pre-registration obligation 48 hours before arrival. So far, however, the Federal Foreign Office has not yet been able to say whether and to what extent you have to go into an interim quarantine if you have to take a corona test upon entry. The Federal Foreign Office is now reviewing this procedure again, as it would have to tighten travel instructions to Greece if a precautionary quarantine threatens there.

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