Greek regional airports ready for the resumption of international flights

Nikos Hardalias

Nikos Hardalias

Greece's Civil Defence and Deputy Minister for Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalias, visited Corfu Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport on Friday ahead of the resumption of international flights as of July 1.

Talking to reporters, he announced that a six-member team of Armed Forces personnel and of doctors and nurses assisted by police and fire brigade personnel, will carry out 400 Covid-19 tests on samples collected each day at Corfu airport.

"This will be the team that will be in charge of the issues concerning sampling and testing. The samples will be taken each day at Corfu airport through a system that will be presented over the coming days, in order to ensure the samples are representative," Hardalias said.

He said the same system will apply at all regional airports and was created via a protocol and an algorithm worked out by a special team of scientists working with the epidemiologists.

"We are working hard, we are working daily. It is a tough exercise but it must be absolutely clear that there are no margins on issues of public health, either for great risks nor for compromises. It is the government's intention to open up for tourism on terms of absolute public health," he stressed.

In Zakynthos, the minister referred to the work to finalise the "quarantine hotels" with the tourism ministry, while noting that the state was able to provide "alternatives and solutions" in all areas concerning quarantine hospitals.

"All this is an exercise in uncharted waters that is improving day by day. What is very important is to leave a specific legacy for the country, through mechanisms and platforms, as we did with track and trace, as we did with quarantines, in the same way now, opening for tourism, that will keep us high up in terms of safety and public health," Hardalias said.

He announced that 100 daily samples will be taken in Kefallonia and 250 on Zakynthos each day, through an algorithm based on the number of visitors the islands had the previous year and how many are expected this year.

"The Ionian Sea and Greece are a safe destination. We know this, we are proud, but we cannot leave it at that...Now is the time for all of us together to build on this effort and to bring the best results for our country," he said.