Greece to test travelers for coronavirus based on a barcode

Greece to test travelers for coronavirus based on a barcode

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The new travel arrangements will come into effect from 1 July

With travel air bridges and route re-establishments in place, people have started making plans for international travel, and Greece is among the popular picks. Since the world is only slowly testing how safe the waters of travel are, the Greek government has come up with a way to increase the safety of both citizens and visitors. 

International arrivals to Greece will be subject to targeted testing for COVID-19. From 1 July until 31 August 2020, each traveler entering the country by air, water, or road will receive a barcode determining whether they need to be further tested for the coronavirus. 

Passengers will be asked to fill out the Passenger Locator Form to receive their barcode

Greek airports made it mandatory to wear masks Greek airports made it mandatory to wear masks — Georgios Kostom / Shutterstock

When traveling to Greece, every passenger will have to fill out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). From 9 July, the form has to be completed at least 24 hours before check-in, as opposed to 48 hours prior to that date. This change comes in order to facilitate last-minute travelers to the country.

“From Thursday, 9 July to Monday, 31 August 2020, the CAA informs that the mandatory completion of the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) by all passengers of international flights to Greece must be done 24 hours before check-in and not 48 hours,” according to the Greek Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The details travelers are expected to share with the government include personal and travel information, such as the “point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of your stay while in Greece,” as per the official website.

After they fill in the information, they’ll receive a barcode either in print or electronic format on their mobile phone. Based on the barcode, the authorities will know whether to test a passenger for coronavirus, which could detect the majority of imported cases.

“The tests per entrance gate will be divided according to the risk that will be assessed per passenger. For example, if we have 1,000 tests per day at Athens international airport Eleftherios Venizelos, these 1,000 tests will be done in such a way as to maximize the ability to detect positive cases per day and per gateway,” said Dimitris Paraskevis who is the Associate Professor of Epidemiology at EKPA and member of the Committee of Experts at the Greek Health Ministry.

Greece has launched its “Enjoy your stay – Stay safe” campaign

Enjoy your stay and stay safe campaign aims to ensure safety of travelersEnjoy your stay and stay safe campaign aims to ensure the safety of travelers — General Secretariat for Civil Protection

Over the last weekend, Greece launched a safety information campaign that urges tourists to adhere to health rules while visiting the country. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection introduced nine directives with the aim to make sure the summer season can be carried out safely. The measures include:

  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Wear a face mask
  • Wash your hands regularly & thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes
  • Dispose your mask and gloves safely in waste bins
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Keep your distance
  • Prefer contactless transactions when available
  • Avoid using elevators

Athens airport tasks robots about COVID-19 measures

The two Pepper robots at Athens airport previously tasked with informing passengers about flight schedules, services at the airport, or sightseeing opportunities in the city were re-tasked to provide information about COVID-19 measures.

Since mid-June, the half-humanoid robots have had ensuring passengers’ safety their priority as flights at the airport started to resume. 

“Pepper is constantly developing. He speaks many languages. He has a human voice and very strong communication skills. Pepper joined us in our efforts to develop new technologies because our unit and AIA invest a lot on technology and innovation. Soon Pepper will be with us with AI so that he will be able to answer many of the passengers’ questions,” said Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director of Communications and Marketing at Athens International Airport

Apart from the robots ensuring safety, it is mandatory to wear masks at all times while at the airport. It’s advised to give goodbyes before entering the airport to avoid overcrowding. There will also be over 300 sanitization points where people can disinfect their hands.

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