Today the tourist season has started in Greece. Regional airports began to accept international flights. Crete, Rhodes, Corfu and other islands welcomed their first guests. 42 aircraft have landed in Heraklion alone today, including Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland. The first plane that landed in Heraklion from Hannover was particularly warmly welcomed. The water gate, music and Cretan snacks are a traditional way of greeting the first tourists by the island's inhabitants. Usually, however, this is how tourists are received here at the turn of March and April. This year, for obvious reasons, there were no previous flights.
The beginning of this season raises many doubts both among tourists and all staff employed in the so-called tourism industry. For the Greek authorities and all services, the last days were spent checking procedures and conducting intensive exercises at airports. The first days of the season may dispel some doubts, however, as the services emphasize, there will be a real verification of the patterns of conduct and perhaps correction of some of them. Questions and doubts accompany, above all, new procedures that tourists will come across. Many emerging question marks have not yet been sufficiently answered. Especially that even the exercises of individual services took place behind closed doors. The case was also not facilitated by the fact that the Greeks on this topic were also not willing to issue press statements.
Today we've managed to collect quite a lot of answers to your questions. If you don't find the answer below to any of them, then we also don't know her at the moment. However, we encourage you to leave them in the comments, the coming days may bring an answer.
What is this form about?
As we informed you on Saturday, each passenger maximum 48 hours before departure must complete a detailed form. He was expertly called the Passenger Location Form (PFL). In addition to proof of identity and contact information, you must declare where you will live, enter whether you have been abroad in the last two weeks (and where). The data that you enter into the form will be carefully analyzed. This form is available at https://travel.gov.gr/#/
Based on the information entered, the Greek services want to select the most precise people who will be tested for viruses at airports, ports or road crossings. After analyzing this data, anyone who crosses the Greek border will receive a special code that must be shown to the services at the airport, port or road crossing. Once again, we emphasize that the virus tests are not random and do not depend on the humor of the airport employee. The selection of the passenger to be checked is based on a supposedly intelligent algorithm.
When will I receive the code?
This code does not come automatically as soon as the form is saved on the page. Greeks declare to be sent within 24 hours. In practice, it probably goes a bit longer. If you do not complete the electronic form, you can also fill out the paper version already at the airport. However, such a method may cause that after your arrival you will spend more time at the airport, because the relevant services will first have to familiarize yourself with your data.
What is the waiting time for the result of the COVID-19 test?
The Greek services declare that the test results will be available within 24 hours.
Do I have to wait for the test result at the airport?
Of course not. Wait for the test result in the hotel. In the one whose name and address you provided in the form.
Will the result of the test carried out in your country be taken into account?
Generally yes if the test was carried out up to 72 hours before arrival. However, the final decision will be made at the airport.
I have a connecting flight (e.g. with a change in Athens or Thessaloniki). Where will the test possibly be performed?
At the destination airport.
Should I stay in the hotel until I receive the result?
Unfortunately yes. The hotel will also receive information that you are awaiting the result. This is called self-isolation, not quarantine. Rather, no one will look after you, but it would be appropriate to adapt to the requirements of the hosts and wait for the result.
What will happen if the test is positive?
In the event of a positive result, the tourist will be taken to the designated hotel where he will spend the quarantine period. The costs of staying at this hotel (transport, accommodation, meals and medical care) are borne by the Greek state. The patient's health will be monitored regularly.
What happens if a tourist falls ill while staying at a hotel?
A doctor is called to the hotel to assess the patient's condition. And it is he who decides what to do next. Transportation for tests is carried out by a special ambulance with full preventive measures. If the test is positive and the patient is in serious condition, he / she remains in the hospital. If the illness is mild, the patient will be transported with his family to a specially designated hotel. Other hotel guests will continue their holiday. However, it should be taken into account that the services will analyze the patient's close contacts.
Where is the quarantine for people with confirmed COVID-19?
People with a positive test result will be transported to the so-called quarantine hotel, where they will stay for 14 days. A total of 5 such hotels have been selected in Crete. Two hotels are located in Hersonissos, one in Chania, Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos. These are 2-3 star hotels.
The period of stay in such a hotel is independent of the days of stay declared by the traveler.
Are there any penalties for breaking the quarantine?
Every quarantined person will be monitored by the Civil Protection Office. Each perpetrator of the quarantine violation will be fined € 5,000.
Who covers the costs of health services and hospitalization if we get COVID-19?
Access to the required health care is provided by the Greek state and it covers the costs. Also for people without insurance. EU citizens will be paid the corresponding expenses in accordance with EU rules and guidelines. So Greece will first cover the costs for care and possible hospitalization, and then settle accounts with the country from which you arrived under international agreements. Of course, this only applies if you have coronavirus, not other sudden medical conditions. In other sudden cases, standard procedures apply, i.e. the EHIC and additional insurance.
How to return home when the traveler was diagnosed with COVID-19 and the return flight was lost due to the quarantine imposed? Is there any refund policy?
Unfortunately, there is no nice answer here, at least for now. The Greek authorities call on travel agencies, hotels and airlines to show maximum flexibility in such situations. This means that postponing a return flight and canceling a reservation at a purchased hotel will be on your mind. It is best to start settling these matters immediately after confirming the diagnosis.
If there is confirmed disease on the plane, are all passengers quarantined?
We have not yet found the official clear answer to this question. It can be assumed that in this case the services will track the close contacts of the sick person. Perhaps they will want to carry out tests on people sitting close to the confirmed covidek. But as we wrote above - we have not seen the official message anywhere, so treat it as our fool. Perhaps time will answer the question that many people have.