Coronavirus infected Europe with more than 20,000 cases in the last two months, with some countries in the bloc amongst the most infected in the world. While governments lay down increasingly strict measures to stem the breadth of an already established infection, others are doing so to preempt a national crisis.
Is it safe to travel to Greece?
Greece is amongst the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and borders several countries on the approach to the Middle East and Africa.
While the country could serve as a bridge to thousands of new infections, it is amongst the least afflicted.
As of March 13, the country has a total of 133 cases, but health officials have nevertheless laid down new measures to curb incoming infections.
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The Hellenic Ministry of Health warned people returning to Greece from countries with local transmission of COVID-19 to “closely” watch their health for two weeks.
Those who develop any respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath need to stay indoors and seek “immediate” medical attention.
To prevent localised spread within Greece, the ministry has also banned all sizeable conferences and public events for four months until April 5.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises people to check with event organisers before travelling to the country.
Are there still flights to Greece?
Airlines are still operating flights into Greece from the UK as the outbreak continues.
However, those visiting will need to take heed of the Greek health ministry’s advice, as COVID-19 is transmitting locally in the UK.
While most airlines have not cancelled their flights into the country, the US has imposed restrictions on Greece.
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The country is one of 26 President Trump has imposed restrictions on in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Greece is amongst those in the Schengen Area, which allows free movement between borders.
Other countries included in the agreement are Italy and Spain, both now amid a state of emergency due to the virus.
The new restrictions apply only to non-US citizens, as Mr Trump criticised the EU for its handling of the disease.
In a statement, the White House said: “The United States Government is unable to effectively evaluate and monitor all of the travellers continuing to arrive from the Schengen Area.
“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Schengen Area threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security. “
Restrictions come into effect at 11.59pm EST (3.59am GMT) today, applying to flights not airborne at the time.
US Vice President Mike Pence said the restrictions would remain in place for 30 days.
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