Greece is calling on the European Commission to adapt its proposal for a pre-travel coronavirus test to be instituted across the EU in order to allow travel to begin once the lockdown measures are lifted.
According to Politico and Kathimerini, Greece requested that the European Commission examine the possibility of lifting EU measures by June 15 and that its proposal for a test to be taken by travellers 72 hours ahead of travel be implemented by all EU countries.
Politico cites a non-paper issued by the Greek side requesting the “fair treatment” of all travellers, underlining that Greece stands against any “biased” health protocols that would be “citizenship-based” and stringent airline regulations such as leaving an empty seat on flights to avoid the potential spread of the virus.
It should also be noted that on Monday, the UK said it would gradually be “reopening” as the pandemic dies out requiring visitors, including UK citizens entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days at a specific facility, with the exception of the French.
“We cannot allow the single market to be fragmented when it comes to tourism services,” the Greek document said, which is also requesting that quarantine measures be lifted as well as other “disproportionate or deterring requirements” to be implemented on the return of travellers to their country.
Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis has reiterated Greece’s proposal for travel in the coronavirus era, underlining that Covid-19 pre-flight screening 72 hours ahead of travel in the country of origin will ensure that travellers are healthy and “already feel safe when they board the plane” as well as the health of host countries.
In this direction, Greece has been putting pressure on the Commission to introduce a Union-wide health protocol that will be respected by all member states and thus allow travel to begin in efforts to save hard hit economies.
Theoharis has stressed however, that if the EU fails to do so, Greece is already exploring the possibility of creating a “safe travel zone” with Israel and Cyprus, as well as entering tourism pacts with specific partner countries.
According to reports, the Commission is expected to propose on Wednesday, easing EU lockdowns “in phases” before restoring free movement. At the same time, it may also suggest lifting bans in countries that have managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 and allowing travel between member states on condition that health checks are carried out.