17 Ukrainian tourists return back home

Fourteen of the seventeen Ukrainian tourists who violated the travel ban and arrived at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” on Saturday, have returned back to Kiev.

At passport control on Saturday, they were denied entry into the country and taken to the police station at the airport, where they were placed in cells.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed the 17 Ukrainian citizens were not allowed to enter Athens due to the restrictions on the entry of third-country nationals into the European Union.

Among the detainees were 15 adults and two children (8 and 9 years old). They asked for an exception to stay in Greece, however the Embassy of Ukraine in Athens clarified that they would return to Kiev on Tuesday.

Greece allowed three people from this group of detainees – those who declared the business purpose of the visit, to stay in the country.

Last week, the European Union Member States approved a list of 14 countries, considered as epidemiologically safe, after days of discussions and disagreements. Ukraine is not on the “safe” list.

As of July 1, residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, will be permitted to enter Europe.

The ‘safe list’ will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest coronavirus developments in each country.

The agreement comes three months after the EU closed its external borders to all non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.