Friday 10 July 2020

Greece keeps the Netherlands off its list of approved tourist providers

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands is not included in the official list of countries from where Greece will welcome tourists from June 15.

Dutch airline Transavia said earlier in May it planned to resume flights to Athens and Crete from that date.

While tourists from Germany, Denmark, Japan and China will be allowed into Greece, Europe’s worst affected countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain are not yet welcome.

This, the tourism ministry said, is because they do not currently fit the epidemiological profile. The decision has been taken on the basis of advice from the  European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and infectious disease experts and the list will be updated before July 1.

Some visitors could also be tested for Covid-19 on arrival, the tourism ministry said. Greece has reported 175 deaths and most of the country’s islands have no official cases of coronavirus, the BBC reported.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said last week he hopes the Dutch government will be able to publish its recommendations about summer holidays in early June. The first Dutch schools will break up for the summer break at the end of that month.

However, foreign holidays will only be allowed to countries which are in a similar situation to the Netherlands and where tourists will not run a greater risk of picking up coronavirus than back home, Rutte said at his weekly press conference.

The current official Dutch recommendation is to avoid all but essential foreign travel.

France

France, the number one foreign destination for the Dutch, said on Friday it hoped to open its borders to EU and Schengen zone countries from mid June.

Jaap van Dissel, head of the public health institute RIVM, told broadcaster NOS on Saturday that he does not see any great risk if people go on holiday to countries where the infection risk is similar to the Netherlands.

‘You will have to keep to the rules in the places you are visiting plus the Netherlands own social distancing measures,’ Van Dissel said.

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