Summer holiday warning: Bookings to Greece rocket after UK’s Spain quarantine restrictions

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Last Saturday the Government announced British travellers arriving back from Spain would no longer be exempt from a 14-day quarantine period, and advised against all but essential travel to the popular European holiday destination. In response to the move, it appears British holidaymakers have turned to Greece to get their last-minute summer sun.

British holidaymakers have turned to Greece this August, which is the busiest month for summer holidays.

Noel Josephides, Chairman of the Sunvil Holiday Group, said the company has seen a surge in enquiries for last-minute, flight-only bookings to Greece in the past week.

He told iNews the surge in interest comes after Spain was struck off the UK’s holiday exemption list.

He said: “We know they are people who were likely to go to Spain.”

Mr Josephides also noted people using the firm are not from Sunvil’s core demographic, who tend to be in the 50-plus bracket.

Airlines Tui and Jet2 have added extra services to Greece in order to meet the increased demand.

Greece has managed to largely avoid a large outbreak of coronavirus throughout the pandemic, despite the surge in cases seen across much of Europe.

The country has recorded just 4,401 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 203 deaths.

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But cases have started to rise slightly in recent weeks, thought to be brought on by tourism.

The number of new cases still remains relatively low however, as in the past 14 days just 3.7 new cases have been recorded per 100,000 residents.

By contrast, Spain registered 53 per 100,000 in the same period – which prompted the Government’s decision to change its guidance on travel there.

Officials have introduced new measures to curb the spread of infection, such as making face masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, except dining areas of restaurants.

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Greece has also introduced similar social distancing rules to that of the UK, with sun loungers and tables more spaced out.

Staff at hotels and restaurants are also likely to be wearing protective gear and gloves.

Tourism minister Harry Theocharis said: “The experience for visitors to Greece will be different.

“Tables and sun loungers will be more spaced out, staff will probably wear protective gear and gloves.

“We are taking steps to avoid queues, and will be limiting the number of tables in restaurants, putting more outside, and changing the way food is served.

“In hotels, more cleaning or rooms and common areas will be expected.”

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