Published on : Tuesday, February 22, 2022
The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) is calling on the government to revise COVID-19 health protocols and facilitate travel ahead of the tourism season ensuring the country keeps its competitive edge.
In a letter to Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and other government officials, SETE is requesting:
– the removal of the PLF (Passenger Locator Form) requirement for travelers with a valid COVID-19 Digital Certificate
– the same validity period for COVID-19 certificates in Greece and abroad
– travellers staying at Airbnb-style accommodation and found to be infected with COVID-19 should quarantine at the rental and not at a quarantine hotel.
SETE President Yiannis Retsos said the PLF form should be removed for remaining categories of travellers as of April 1, 2022.
The pandemic developments today and the prevailing conditions have nullified the purpose for which the measure was introduced under current rules there is no longer any reason to ‘locate’ travellers, SETE said in its letter.
Additionally, the association underlines the importance of ensuring that all COVID-19 certificate holders are allowed into food and drink establishments with testing requirements.
In Greece vaccination certificates are valid for a period of seven months after the last vaccination whereas in the EU it is nine months after creating problems in the operation of businesses and unnecessary inconvenience to visitors, SETE said.
The trade body said the rule creates inconsistent conditions where on the one hand travellers can enter the country but on the other, they need tests to dine.
Last week, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and its European partner organizations called on the EU to implement a coordinated approach to the validity period of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.
The validity period of the vaccination certificate should be common for all uses as should the age limit for children required to present a vaccination or recovery certificate or negative diagnostic result, said SETE requesting the age limit currently at five years should be set to four years.
Lastly, SETE proposes that quarantine hotels continue to operate this year as they did in 2021 with the exception of COVID-19 cases found in travelers staying at short-term rentals, in which case quarantine should be covered by the provider.
Quarantine hotels were set up to serve tourists who visit the country and stay in legally licensed tourist accommodation, something which can be verified.
Any cases identified in the short-term leases should remain in the properties booked, SETE said.
Additionally, SETE is also proposing the option of allowing COVID-infected hotel customers to remain in their room until the end of quarantine as long as they cover the cost of accommodation.