Travel: Grant Shapps issues warning on booking holidays

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Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis has said Britons will be among the tourists welcomed back to Greece for summer holidays, and has encouraged holidaymakers to “book flights”. Currently, the nation is progressing through its vaccination effort, but national lockdown restrictions remain.

However, some of these restrictions are beginning to change – with new rules set out for travelling between certain regions domestically.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an update on its travel advice page explaining some of these changes.

“The Greek authorities have implemented tough measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19,” it states.

“There are specific measures in place in the cities of Athens (and surrounding Attica region); and in Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki.

“The rest of Greece is split into a number of categories, with different levels of measures applying in different categories. These categories are: amber areas; red areas; and areas of heightened concern.”

It adds: “Travel within Greece is currently restricted.

You should comply with all measures announced by the Greek authorities.”

Restrictions on leaving home vary depending on what “category” each region is in.


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However, people wanting to make a journey that is not permitted under their region’s category rules must “certify essential movement”.

This can be done via text message, by completing an online form provided by the Greek authorities or by writing a handwritten note which can be shown to authorities should they request it.

For those who need to travel for essential reasons, there are strict rules in place.

“If you are travelling by internal (domestic) flights, you are also required to wear masks throughout the journey,” explains the FCDO.

“Specific measures relating to check-in, baggage allowances and other details are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“Changes to what is open or permitted, including international travel options, are subject to change and may occur at short notice.

“Keep up to date with the latest information and advice from your travel contact or business partners, as well as the sources in this travel advice.”

Britons returning to the UK from Greece, including the islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos will be subject to 10 days of self-isolation.

Furthermore, the FCDO is currently advising against all but essential travel to Greece “based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks”.

However, it adds: “The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Greece to leave at this time.

“Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.

“You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.”

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