Greece has suspended flights to and from Qatar until mid-June after 12 passengers arriving in Athens on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha tested positive for Covid-19.
The Greek civil protection ministry states that 12 of the 91 people on board the 1 June Qatar Airways flight tested positive for the virus on arrival in Athens. Those 12 people will now be quarantined in a hotel for 14 days, while the arrivals who tested negative will be isolated for a week before being tested again.
“We also announce that after the above epidemiological data, flights to and from Qatar will be suspended until 15 June,” says the ministry.
Qatar Airways has maintained flights to at least 30 destinations throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and is in the process of reinstating service to 80 cities by the end of June. The airline announced on 3 June that it would resume flights to Venice on 15 July and increase frequencies to Dublin, Milan and Rome from 13 June.
Greece has a relatively low number of confirmed Covid-19 cases compared with many other countries, including Qatar. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that Greece has 2,937 cases, while Qatar has 60,259.
The country is reopening its tourism market in three phases. Until 15 June, international flights are permitted to arrive only in national capital Athens and all passengers must be tested and quarantined, says Greece’s ministry of foreign affairs.
Between 15 and 30 June, international flights will also be allowed to land at Thessaloniki. Passengers arriving from airports that are not included on European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s list of areas considered to have a high risk of Covid-19 transmission will be subject to random testing. Those coming from countries that do appear on the list will continue to be tested and quarantined.
From 1 July, international flights will be permitted to land at all Greek airports and random tests will be carried out. However, additional restrictions regarding “certain countries” will be announced at a later date.