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Politics

Theoharis to Sky News: Greece Has a Comprehensive Plan to Keep Tourists Safe

LONDON — Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis on Tuesday outlined the measures that Greece will be taking to ensure the health safety of tourists and local residents this summer, during a morning news programme on the UK's Sky News. He also expressed his expectation that Greece will soon be added to the UK's list of 'green' destinations, where travellers do not have to self-isolate on their return to the UK, when this is next reassessed.

Theoharis said that he was in London for talks with government officials in order to make sure that both sides understand how their respective systems function and to assure them that Britons will be safe in Greece and also that they understand the criteria and have all the data to make informed decision.

The minister said that an effort will be made to explain everything while expressing certainty that Greece was past the peak and was now seeing a decline of the third wave of the pandemic, just like the rest of Europe.

He agreed that trust was essential for tourism and those that choose to travel to Greece, highlighting the importance of cooperation on a European level and "even more widely" and noting that Greece had shown leadership in this cooperation and in its practical implementation.

"We were the first country to implement last year a digital-only passenger locator form and have machine learning at our borders. We were awarded the Global Award of Excellence for the kinds of systems we had in place last year and we are now using even more tools that we have at our disposal," he pointed out, noting that the vaccine programme was now forging ahead.

He noted that Greece has quarantine hotels, that people will be tested often, and that in addition to vaccination there were the prerequisites before travel. "This means that we have a comprehensive, mature and professional plan for ensuring the health safety of our citizens and, of course, anyone that comes to Greece," he added, noting that this was the "recipe for our success, if you like, in dealing with the pandemic".

Asked whether the fact that Greece was on the 'amber' list in the UK traffic-light system might deter some Britons from holidaying there, Theoharis pointed out that the lists will be revised every three weeks and that he was in the UK to discuss the precautions Greece is taking with the country's officials, expressing confidence that Greece will be added to the 'green' list at the next revision.

The interview can be viewed at the link:

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