Clarification regarding the transfer of confirmed tourist Covid cases to temporary accommodation
ATHENS. Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis sent a circular on July 30, providing clarifications on the transfer of confirmed Covid-19 tourist cases to temporary accommodation (quarantine hotels / isolation rooms).
On July 29, the President of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers Grigoris Tasios, in a letter to the responsible Ministers, pointed out the serious problems in transferring Covid-19 cases from hotels, since despite last year's experience,
ambiguities along with the dysfunctional and inefficient of state mechanism make the whole process unpleasant, thereby affecting the reputation of Greek tourism.
Following media reports of "a hotelier abandoning guests with Covid-19 at a Health Centre”, and reports from its members throughout the country, the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers points out the following:
“The number of hotel guests tested positive for Covid-19 is extremely low and this is due to the faithful implementation of the very strict health protocols by the vast majority of businesses.
Unfortunately, however, the management procedure of these few cases is extremely difficult and this is regardless of whether or not the hotel (with a capacity of more than 50 rooms) has a Covid-19 doctor by law. In many cases, the instructions of the General Secretariat for Civil Protection and EODY officials, which are necessary for the proper management of each case, are unclear and communication is not as straightforward and simple as it should be – especially at weekends.
It should be noted that transferring a guest tested positive for Covid-19 to a quarantine hotel is not simple. The positive test result (rapid or PCR) has to be registered on a special platform and then a mandate – referral has to be issued by the responsible authority - a process that is extremely complex and time-consuming.
The Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers has also requested “that there
should be a phoneline exclusively for the health managers of hotel businesses, via which the necessary directions and approvals can be given”.
The circular, published exclusively by “MONEY & TOURISM” magazine, is as follows:
Α. Publication of Covid-19 test results
In the case of a positive test result, the responsible sampling body shall enter it in the Covid-19 Patient Registry immediately, so that the General Secretariat for Civil Protection and EODY are informed electronically. Then, the Civil Protection service should contact (a) the patient, (b) the hotel/accommodation, according to the data declared on the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), and in particular the person responsible for implementing the suspected case management plan, (c) EODY, which is notified of the contact details of the hotel/tourist establishment’s collaborating doctor, and informs the EKAB (Ambulance Service) Crisis Management Team.
Β. Transfer of the patient to a temporary accommodation/isolation room
Τhe EKAB Crisis Management Team is responsible for the coordination and management of the transfer of the confirmed case to the temporary accommodation/isolation room, after they have been informed:
- In the case of a patient who walked into and was examined at the nearest National Health System unit, without prior notification from the accommodation's collaborating doctor.
- In the case of a patient who has been examined by the hotel/accommodation’s
collaborating doctor and remains asymptomatic, but cannot remain in an isolation room within the hotel/accommodation itself.
- In the case of a patient that the collaborating doctor considers to have symptoms, and consequently their transfer either to the temporary accommodation / isolation room or to a National Health System unit is necessary.
In all of the abovementioned cases, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection should be informed of the transfer of the positive case and any close contacts to the temporary accommodation - isolation room, in order to register and send their data to those responsible for monitoring compliance to their temporary isolation (Police, Coast Guard).
In cases where:
a. The patient - visitor refuses to be transported
b. The patient - visitor is not at their declared place of residence,
The EKAB Crisis Management Team should notify the General Secretariat for Civil Protection in order to initiate the proper Management Protocol.
It should also be noted that, wherever they are coming from (Ports, Airports, etc.), asymptomatic Covid-19 patients should be transferred directly to the temporary
accommodation - isolation room.
The following are responsible for sample-taking:
- EODY and Civil Protection teams at the country's entry points,
- a contracted doctor at hotels and tourist accommodation,
- medical staff of the first level local authorities, if available,
- medical staff of public health facilities (hospitals, health centres, regional clinics),
- EODY Mobile Health Teams,
- Private Diagnostic Centres,
- private pharmacists.
The sampl testing points of the EODY Mobile Health Teams, the private diagnostic centres and the pharmacies that conduct PCR tests in some small islands are listed on the website www.mintour.gov.gr, which is constantly updated.
The referral for laboratory testing (sample report) must be registered by everyone in the Covid-19 Patient Registry.
In case of a technical problem regarding the Covid-19 Patient Registry, please immediately contact the IDIKA (e-Government Centre for Social Security) Helpdesk 11131 and e-mail [email protected]
THE DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER