Greece opens Covid-safe 'travel bubble' to Australia

Greece joins other European countries in opening 'air bridges' to selected countries, and Australia has made the list.

By David Flynn, May 30 2020
Greece opens Covid-safe 'travel bubble' to Australia

Greece has invited Australia to join a global travel bubble of trusted countries from which it will accept visitors as of June 15 as part of the country's 'Restart Tourism' plan.

Participation in the 'Aegean air corridor' would require approval by the Australian government, as well as state governments with border restrictions, and the lifting of the current mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed on all inbound travellers.

Visitors arriving into Greece will still need to undergo a 'sampling' coronavirus test.

"We are opening up, but at the same time we are closely monitoring the situation. Strict health protocols will protect both staff and tourists," said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis. "Our aim is to be able to welcome every tourist who has overcome their fear and has the ability to travel to our country."

The 29 countries from which Greece will accept visitors as of June 15 are: Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.

The list will be expanded on July 1 to include other countries, the ministry said.

Safety measures in Greece, which moved early on a nation-wide lockdown to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, include capacity limits at hotels and resorts, and each hotel having a designated doctor on call.

The country so far reported a total of just 175 deaths and 2,900 confirmed cases, with no cases detected on the vast majority of the Greek islands which are popular vacation spots.

Australia is now considering a staged reopening of international travel, beginning with a trans-Tasman bubble to New Zealand and other Pacific Island nations in the third quarter of this year.

Until then, all Australians are prohibited from flying overseas unless they qualify for an exemption on the grounds of essential travel or can otherwise demonstrate 'a compelling reason for needing to leave Australian territory.'

Read more: Who is exempt from Australia's international coronavirus travel ban?

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Aegean Airlines - Miles & Bonus

15 Jun 2016

Total posts 21

A direct flight from Perth to avoid transiting in a hub would be great. Could be a good opportunity for Qantas given the usually high volume of traffic between Australia and Greece.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 543

Would have to be Jetstar however.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 533

Great my SQ Suite in July was downgraded today due to change of aircraft :( , I'm going to rebook for 2021 and as soon as it is safe rebook later this year as well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2015

Total posts 41

Same experience with QF and change from 747 to HND to 330-200, I lost a premium economy seat.

27 Aug 2013

Total posts 29

Aussies won't be travelling to Greece or anywhere in Europe for a long time. The Australian government will not support this, period.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 160

I'm curious to know how this would be enforced in the real world.


For example. I live in the UK and have both a British and Australian passport.


Austria has been placed on the list for acceptable tourists to Greece as has Australia.


Austria in turn allows arrivals of British passport holders.


So, in theory I could travel UK - Austria - Greece?


Not that I plan on travelling to Greece but surely these 'safe' bubbles in europe are open to exploitation versus Australia/NZ.

21 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

Thermal Screening does not detect all cases.

Greek prime minister has requested mandatory testing before board a flight not testing on arrival.

Australia is on the list of countries to enter Greece however require application approved to leave.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2015

Total posts 41

Well, I beg to differ with all those commentators who guess when international travel will recommence freely.

My guess is there will be a slow landing of Opinion on what is Safe.

Some local folk will go hard and allow Au SA/NT/ACT travel.

My great hope is that Japan's terrific, really unbelievable response to CV, allows a direct bubble from Australia to Sapporo for their next Ski Season.

It will ignite the Niseko Ski Season and demonstrate how much us Aussies LOVE Japan. It's people. Culture. And how much we like Japan and it's people.

A rare opportunity for Australia to quietly tell Japan and neighbours, how much we appreciate being a part of Asia.

Austin


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