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Kyriakos Mitsotakis: New support for tourism in July if needed

Kyriakos Mitsotakis
26 Jun 2020 / 09:00

ATHENS. Speaking at the Greek Tourism Confedeartion (SETE) general assembly, the Greek PM said that the Government΄s aim was for there to be no job losses in the tourism sector. No mandatory ΄isolation rooms΄.

Speaking at the assembly on Thursday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that hotels to serve as isolation centres (Covid hotels) would be announced in the coming days. The Ministry launched an expression of interest earlier this month.

Following the confusion and reactions due to the announcement earlier this week that hotels will be required to hold isolation rooms for possible Covid-19 cases, he clarified that special quarantine hotels would be set up for that purpose.

The Health Ministry’s announcement earlier this week brought angry responses from hoteliers who said that isolation rooms would turn away customers and in the end cause damage to the hospitality sector.

Mr. Mitsotakis confirmed that Greece would be opening up to tourists on July 1 offering “maximum possible security” and that the designated quarantine hotels would be announced this week.

“Every large hotel unit that can and wishes to manage a Covid-19 incident at its own facilities and safe quarantine room can do so – this will not apply and there is no reason for it to apply to small accommodation units since we have planned for quarantine hotels at all destinations,” he said.

Due to the reluctance of hoteliers to operate quarantine units, the Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises (SETKE) called on the government to reconsider the amount of the daily remuneration being offered.

Hotels – large or small – will not be required to host customers who become infected with Covid-19 and can choose if they wish to maintain an isolation room.

Greece has drawn up an action plan to ensure the safety of visitors, tourism professionals, and locals, which includes doctors on call, immediate access to health facilities, on-the-spot testing, emergency transport services as well as rigid guidelines with emphasis on popular tourist destinations.