Holidaymakers caught out by Greek island amber zone

Photo: Odi Busman
Photo: Odi Busman

Dozens of Dutch holidaymakers on Kos, Mykonos and Rhodes have been caught out by the foreign affairs ministry’s decision to increase the coronavirus risk on the three islands from yellow to amber from May 30.

That means all travel to the islands should be for essential reasons only and that people returning to the Netherlands will have to hand over both a negative PCR test and go into quarantine for at least five days.

The ministry decision was based on recommendations from public health institute RIVM, which had described the Greek coronavirus figures as ‘concerning’. However, the Telegraaf points out, those figures come from the European equivalent of the RIVM and are based on the situation two weeks ago.

On Wednesday and Thursday there were no positive tests on Kos and there were 11 on Rhodes, the Telegraaf said. In total, the paper said, there have been an average of 165 infections per 100,000 Greek island residents over the past 14 days, compared with 250 to 450 in the Netherlands.

‘The Netherlands is taking a very rigid approach to the figures,’ Marnix Fuitema chairman of airline lobby group Barin told the paper.

Astrid Dusink, who is visiting family on Rhodes and due to fly back on June 1 with her mother, told the Telegraaf that the decision is ‘nuts’.

She and her mother are both vaccinated but must now get tested and then go into quarantine on their return. ‘It is safer here than in the Randstad,’ she said. ‘The beaches are empty and lots of hotels are shut. Tourists are being spread between the hotels as well.’


Crete, also a popular holiday destination for tourists from the Netherlands is already amber, as is mainland Greece. France, all of Spain apart from the Balearic islands, Turkey and Italy are also currently amber zones.

The EU is currently working on plans to launch a pan-European certificate so that people who have been vaccinated, who have a negative PCR test or have recently had coronavirus will be able to travel between countries more easily.

The aim is to have it up and running by the end of June, when the main holiday season starts up.

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