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Greece locks UK out for 2 more weeks

Loungers
abound:
Leptokarya
Beach in
the east of
Greece
remains
almost
bereft of
tourists
PICTURE: EPA

HOLIDAYMAKERS hoping for a post-lockdown Greek getaway will have to put plans on hold after the country extended its ban on flights from Britain by two weeks.

The UK’s relatively high rate of coronavirus cases was the main reason its tourists won’t be welcome back until July 15 at the earliest, prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

Sweden has being blocked for the same reason, although Mr Mitsotakis said the situation is under constant review. He told a tourism meeting in Athens: ‘The opening procedure is dynamic and the data will be continuously evaluated.’

The move comes despite Greece looking likely to feature on the list of countries the UK will deem fit for quarantine-free travel according to the ‘traffic light’ system. Portugal has apparently been left off the list as it is the only European nation with a higher rate of coronavirus infections than the UK.

Under the traffic light system, set to start on July 6, countries will be rated green, amber or red based on infection levels, reliability of data and confidence in test and trace. Automatic 14-day quarantine will remain only for ‘red’ countries such as the US and Brazil.

■ THE pandemic is ‘not even close to being over’, six months after Covid-19 first appeared in China, the head of the World Health Organization has warned. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the virus ‘has brought out the best and worst of humanity’, as global cases passed 10million, with 500,000 deaths.