Tourism Reopening in Greece

"All you want is Greece", is the new invitation slogan for foreign tourists wishing to visit Greece this year.

The Minister of Tourism, Haris Theocharis, confirmed the Holy Monday - 14th of May - as a milestone for the official opening of Greek Tourism.

"To put a smile on your face again, with the hope to go back to a normal life", said the Greek Minister of Tourism from the podium of the international tourism exhibition ITB 2021, which is being held this year digitally.

In fact, Greece "aspires", if the health data will allow, to open the tourist gates by May 14th of 2021. Until then the pilot opening will be considered, probably in early April, with EU countries, but also countries that have advanced vaccination, such as Israel.

The conditions in the middle of covid

Addressing the potential visitors of the country, the Minister of Tourism pointed out that Greece is ready to welcome them with a complete protocol for the summer of 2021.

In this context, tourists will be welcomed with the following 3 conditions:

- have been vaccinated,

- have antibodies or have a negative Covid test.

In the meantime, he pointed out that all tourists will be subjected to sample checks, as was done last year.

This year the diagnosis will be immediate and in case of "positive" results the travelers will be transferred to the appropriate facilities. At this point, it was emphasized that all expenses are the responsibility of the Greek state without any charge to foreign visitors.

Remaining on the health front, Mr. Theocharis said that the protection and safety regulations that apply to Greek citizens also apply to visitors to the country. Pointing at the same time that the health structures in the Greek tourist destinations are being strengthened. Also, priority is given to the vaccinations of the people involved in the tourism industry, following the vaccination of the vulnerable groups.

"Fast" tests for tourists and employees

As was also mentioned, the basis for this year will be the Protocol of 2020, with the addition of new knowledge and experience. The main difference for this year is the "fast" tests and of course the existence of vaccines against the coronavirus. After the completion of the immunization of the most vulnerable groups of citizens, priority will be given to workers in the tourism sector and it is estimated that the process will most likely begin in May. In addition, employees will be tested regularly. Tourists on the other hand will undergo sampling tests and the costs of a possible treatment for coronavirus will be covered by the state this year as well.

"We hope to open by May 14. Until then, we will gradually lift the restrictions, as health issues will allow ", said the Minister of Tourism, clarifying that the dates are indicative and added that Greece plans to test its protocols from the beginning of April, with the European Union and other countries that have come a long way in vaccinating the population

"We are more than optimistic. We are ready! ", Said Mr. Theocharis.

"Digital Green Certificate"

As the Minister of Tourism explains, "the vaccination certificate answers all the questions that one could ask and does not exclude anyone. The certificate covers those who have undergone PCR testing, have been vaccinated, or have antibodies to the coronavirus. The certificate has been carefully designed in such a way that it does not raise the slightest concern about the violation of personal data. It includes multiple options, allowing anyone who does not wish to reveal whether or not they have been vaccinated to undergo a PCR test. "The vaccination certificate protects one of the fundamental freedoms of the European Union, the freedom of movement."

Answering the questions, Mr. Theocharis had the opportunity to clarify that the opening of tourism does not imply an increase in COVID-19 cases, saying that "Greek experts estimate that the contribution of tourism to the spread of the virus is of the order of 3%. The data show that there was no second wave of pandemic outbreaks in mid-summer, but much later, a week after the countries of Northern Europe, in late October-early November. "Even countries that did not open their borders to tourism were hit by the second wave in mid-summer."

Tourists from Non-EU destinations

Regarding the reception of visitors from non-EU countries, it was pointed that the goal is that anyone who wants to be able to come, of course, in compliance with the conditions. Those who are vaccinated with non-EU-approved vaccines, such as from China or Russia, will also have the possibility to visit Greece.

The "Covid-Free" destinations

The prospects for tourism in the small islands of the country are considered auspicious due to the total vaccination of the inhabitants.

The island destinations, where the vaccinations against Covid have reached 100% of the population and have already been included in the international tourist news as "Covid-Free" tourist destinations for this summer, expect an increase in traffic.

Kastelorizo, Meganisi, Kastos, Thymaina, Psara, Kalamos, Fourni, and Oinousses are islands with less than 1,000 inhabitants where the vaccination has been completed.

The islands of Ereikoussa, Agathonisi, Nisyros, Gavdos, Halki, Mathraki, Lipsi, Othonoi, Tilos, and Arkoi have completed the first dose of vaccine for the coronavirus.

The other islands with less than 1,000 inhabitants, as planned vaccination plan are: Donoussa, Elafonisos, Saria, Kimolos, Ano Koufonisi, Heraklion, Psara, Thymaina, Telendos, Folegandros, Thiraki, Trizos, Trizon, Trizon Ammouliani, Agios Efstratios, P. Trikeri, Schinoussa, Gyali, Antikythira, Peristera, Antipaxoi, Marathi, Dokos, Kalolimnos, Farmakonisi.

 

CLICK HERE to check availability and indicative prices for your Summer Destination in Greece


Private Jet Chartering during the lockdown

As several European countries are already announced or getting closer to the 2nd lockdown, the various travel restrictions are again in the air. In these difficult for private aviation times, the GATN Team continues to provide Private Jet chartering for all types of trips that are not under restrictions.

As a result of these new and upcoming travel restrictions, many commercial airline companies are reducing the already low number of scheduled flights. So the Private Jet Chartering is becoming the preferred way of travel for those who cannot or do not wish to use commercial airline flights.

Most countries and airports are still open for essential travel, repatriation flights, medical, or exceptional reasons.

A lot of our clients are using this time to plan their New Year and Christmas trips, or winter holidays. Some people are planning to visit "summer" countries, where the weather is warm and sunny, some people instead will spend the holidays at the Ski Resorts or visiting families and friends. Everything shows that this winter and especially in December and January the demand for Private traveling will raise significantly.

During the worldwide pandemic closure, we have noticed that the popularity of Private Aviation, such as Private Jet and Helicopter chartering is raising, offering the clients more control over their trip and giving them the opportunity to travel with much more safety and privacy than with commercial airlines aircraft.

Another thing that we noticed the last couple of months of pandemic flight restrictions, is that in addition to serving our valuable clients, we are receiving a lot of requests from the new clients, that are using Private Aviation for the first time.  Chartering a Private Aircraft provides safe and comfortable traveling.


Reach your Yacht by Private Jet

As all the borders are slowly opening and people start planning their holidays, but the new travel regulations and safety/sanitary requirements in 2020 making traveling a bit complicated and could affect costly for your holiday plans. If you are a yacht owner or planning your holidays on a chartered yacht, you might be concerned about how you will reach it. You can check gorgeous luxury yachts offered for charter on our

Concierge room - Yachts

Our new service will make private travel from your home to the yacht location pleasant and simple. The GATN team will design your private trip on all its stages so that you will reach your yacht in the fastest possible and safe way.

All you need is to give us the departure city and a yacht location. The rest, you can leave with us.

Upon requesting your flight our team will assist you in making all of the necessary arrangements, from flight booking to ground transfer your yacht.

The service includes:

Flight arrangements from the preferred city to the airport closest to the yacht location.
Private customs on arrival in the VIP lounge (if available)
Ground transportation from the airport to the marina
Yacht handling via our local agent in Greece

Greece was announced by the World Health Organization as the safest country for the summer 2020 holidays for the excellent handling of the Covid-19 situation in the country.

We invite you to make your holidays in Greece and we hope to welcome you onboard and on deck !!!


Greek government to reduce VAT for tourism and transportation

ATHENS – Greece's tourist sector, especially places serving food and beverages, will get much-needed relief in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic through a cut in the Value Added Tax (VAT) as the country also hopes visitors will come this year.

The VAT will be cut from 24 to 13 percent by the New Democracy government that also paid out 17.5 billion euros ($18.98 billion) in benefits to workers laid off and their businesses that were temporarily closed during a lockdown.Read more


It's getting better - Where can you fly now?

The situation with COVID-19 seems to get better, so some countries start to relax travel and passenger restrictions. Our team is monitoring the travel restrictions changes every day, to stay updated with the latest information. So we can provide in-time and useful information to assist our customers.

Countries are continuing to implement additional health screening measures at transport hubs, including airports, seaports, and border crossings, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. These include temperature checks prior to boarding planes and upon landing, stringent questions about itineraries, and medical declarations. Allow additional time to complete check-in formalities.

To review the latest updates for travel and passenger restrictions you can visit our interactive platform In-sky situation.

 

 


24/7 round COVID-19 Transportation Demands

The COVID-19 virus continues spreading all over the world, getting sick more and more people, and unfortunately, it does not look to turn over. The demand for air ambulance transportation is hitting the records. Air Business International Team is 24/7 on charge and doing the best to provide our services to the people in need of medical transportation. We are closely collaborating with our trusted air ambulance operators in Greece, Germany, Austria, Italy, Israel, and other counties. There are also a lot of upcoming restrictions for medical transportation.

Medical transportation of coronavirus patients

One of our trusted partners has announced the purchase of a portable medical isolation unit manufactured in Norway by EpiGuard AS, known as the EpiShuttle, and they are now ready to start transporting patients infected with COVID-19.  There is also a dedicated team of 4 ICU Flight Doctors and 8 Flight Paramedics, now trained in accordance with the ECDC European Center for Disease Control Technical Directive, and the company can offer transportation of patients with the confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on a case by case basis … positive case contacts will also be transported’.”

Limitations placed on patient transports include:

The Health Authority Infectious Disease Notification processes relevant to all jurisdictions have been followed and approved prior to the mission

Receiving care has been confirmed and the receiving hospital is fully informed and willing to accept the patient.
The involved ground ambulance services are briefed accordingly and accept the patient.
The patient and/or relevant family member/legal guardian gives consent to being transported in a PMIU after full disclosure of the risks and limitations involved.
The transport is not in breach of aviation restrictions in place and subject to amendment from time to time as promulgated by international agencies eg: WHO/CDC/National authorities and aviation agencies.

Furthermore, the following numerous requests from clients can now commence repatriations of unaffected, healthy adults and children who are in a location considered to be at high risk of transmission back to their home country, on behalf of governments, international agencies, and private clients.

Our leading Air Ambulance Specialists and Special Mission Operators are working around the clock to help evacuate those in need following unprecedented demand from the spread of coronavirus. This includes both medical evacuations of infected patients and repatriation flights of unaffected healthy individuals from all corners of the globe.

The biggest challenge remains scheduling given entry restrictions now in place in many countries around the world many of which are not allowing entry for crew rest and pre-positioning.


Getting Ready for Better Days to Come

 

We hope for all our partners, valuable clients, and all people, in general, to stay strong in these critical times.
With our strong belief for better days to come we, here in ABI, are using time wisely.

Read more


Procedure for the approval of emergency flights due to the coronary crisis.

 

 

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic crisis the procedure to be followed for the approval of emergency flights to/from Greek Airports (repatriation, hospital/ambulance, crew rest, refueling / technical flights, etc) is as follows:Read more


Greece’s lockdown restrictions apply also in GA flights

Please be advised that flying to a destination with any GA aircraft is restricted as this is part of Greece’s lockdown (as per private car drivers who found to be traveling for leisure and are fined). In the case of aircraft in addition to the fine, there is a big possibility for the prohibition of departure back to the origin if there is no transportation exemption reason.

If however, the purpose of the flight complies with an exception, the local authorities will be notified by the ATCs and will wait for you at your landing area to check the passenger’s Work Commute Permit for Employees (type A) or Extraordinary Moving Permit (type B) as well as 731 forms. Not to mention of course IDs or Passports.
AOC operations should also comply. Passengers and crews must have permits accordingly. Furthermore, AOC operators must follow the Procedure for the approval of emergency flights.

Greece’s general lockdown transportation exemptions:

  • Travel to and from work during working hours.
  • Going to the pharmacy or to the doctor provided this is necessary, further to a telephone consultation.
  • Going to the supermarket, the mini-market for basic necessities, if delivery is not possible.
  • Going to the bank if the necessary transaction is not possible online.
  • Going to assist someone in need.
  • Attending a ceremony (e.g. funeral, wedding, christening) as per the relevant legislation; maintaining parent-child contact in case of divorced or separated parents as per relevant legislation.
  • Exercising outdoors or walking a pet. If accompanied by another individual, then there should be a 1.5 meters distance between the two.

Stay safe, Stay home!
We all want to get back to flying but for now, we must stay grounded.

Source: GreekHelicopters.gr


In-sky Situation – Flights Restrictions 'Last update 8/4/20'

Our hope for you and your families to stay strong and safe in the Coronavirus crisis that the world is through. The Helicopter4You team remains at your disposal 24/7, doing our best. As known, multiply flight restrictions took place all over the planet. Below you can find important information about new restrictions in some important aviation destinations.Read more