As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 3,589. No fatalities were announced in the past 24 hours, keeping the death toll to 193. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 10, while 121 patients have left the intensive care unit.
There has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the referral hospitals of the country, according to the latest data published by the National Organization of Public Health (EODY). The increase, although small, is observed in hospitalizations in hospitals as compared to the end of last month. From the total of 53 hospitalized patients, 28 are hospitalized in various hospitals, ICUs, MAF and negative pressure chambers and 25 in Covid-19 clinics. Respectively, on the last day of June, the number of hospitalized patients was 23 in Units and 18 in clinics, which is a total of 41 patients.
Greek health authorities yesterday remained concerned that the coronavirus is entering the country via travelers after 17 of the 27 new confirmed cases were imported. More specifically, 14 were identified during the checks carried out at the country’s points of entry, and three concerned people who had come from abroad and voluntarily sought to be tested for the virus. A total of 183 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 had been recorded in Greece from July 1 until Tuesday. More than half (103 or 56%) were imported. By the end of June, almost one in four cases (22.5%) were linked to travelers from abroad. Most of the imports of the last few days concern the country’s land borders. Also yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that travelers take precautions against the virus, wear masks and keep abreast of developments.
Authorities on the island of Thassos, in the northern Aegean, said Wednesday that an unspecified number of foreign tourists have tested positive for coronavirus. The cases were identified during the checks carried out as they entered the country. The tourists, who are reportedly asymptomatic, were transferred to a quarantine hotel in the area. Authorities have meanwhile confirmed a case of Covid-19 on the Cycladic island of Naxos. Reports Wednesday identified the patient as a Greek doctor, who four days ago traveled to Athens International Airport from the UK via Serbia.
All travelers to Greece will be required to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) 24 hours – not 48 hours as was the case until now – prior to travel starting July 9, the Greek Civil Aviation (HCAA) authority announced on Monday. More specifically, as of Thursday and through to 31 August 2020, all incoming passengers from destinations abroad will have to complete the PLF form 24 hours before check in. Travelers will be guided through the online procedure which includes the provision of a QR passenger code that must be presented, either via mobile phone or in printed format upon arrival at Greek ports, airports, and border check points. According to the HCAA, testing for Covid-19 will be carried out based on health ministry, National Public Health Organization (EODY), and General Secretariat for Civil Protection guidelines. The change was made to allow for last-minute bookings.
Greece and Egypt announced this week that they will be working together to reignite tourism, strengthening ties between the two countries even further. Joint intentions were announced by Greek Tourism Minister and his Egyptian counterpart. The two sides agreed among others to lift a ban on travel due to Covid-19 paving the way for the resumption of flights between the two countries when the epidemiological data allows. It should be noted that once travel opens, passengers will still be subject to random screening as currently conducted based on risk assessment of PLF form data (for Greece), while host countries have pledged to provide Covid-19 treatment.
Authorities in Greece recently announced the new health and safety protocols for the organization of conferences and trade fairs in the country, following the lifting of restrictive measures (taken due to COVID-19) since July 1. According to the protocols, professional and other conferences can be held in the form of hybrid events. Furthermore, the following measures must be implemented:
Only a predetermined number of delegates is allowed in the conference venue. The conference will also be available online (live streaming).
In case Greek authorities decide to ban physical presence at conferences due to epidemiological reasons, the event will not be postponed / canceled and can be carried out online.
The organizer has the option to hold a conference exclusively online, without the physical presence of delegates.
In the case of international conferences, the physical presence of foreign delegates is permitted in accordance with current travel restrictions.
Delegates must pre-register online for the sessions the wish to attend in order to secure a seat in the conference room. Delegates that have not pre-registered will not be allowed access to the venue unless there are seats available.
The delegates’ conference badges will be scanned upon their entrance to the venue. Only speakers, delegates and technical staff are allowed in the conference room.
The conference’s registration, badge, program and certificates must be available in an electronic form (via e-mail, SMS, social media).
Commercial stands are allowed in the venue provided that they do not include seats, printed or other material. The screening of commercial messages is recommended.
A buffet for coffee / light lunch during breaks is allowed and must operate in accordance with the relevant health regulations. The distribution of individual meal packages is recommended.
The use of masks is mandatory for staff and optional for delegates.
The pandemic has interrupted the growth course of Greek exports, but it also served to close the gap in the trade balance due to the slump in imports too. On Tuesday both the Panhellenic Exporters Association (PSE) and the Institute of Exports Surveys and Studies of SEVE – the Greek Exporters Association – noted the 32.7% annual decline of Greek exports in May, as their value fell by about 1 billion euros from May 2019, ending up at €2.07 billion from €3.07 billion.
Even so there were two sectors that withstood the pressure: chemicals exports, which rose 20.3%, and olive oil, which was up 11.1%. Food and livestock exports weathered the pressure too, easing just 0.2%. They were the exceptions to the rule that had Greek products suffering from the restrictions imposed in Europe’s main economies. Even excluding fuel products, which sank 71.3% year-on-year, exports posted a 12.7% decline. The other sectors that drove exports lower were raw materials (down 40.3%), industrial products (-28.3%), and tobacco and alcohol (-17.2%). Nevertheless, imports showed an even greater decrease in May, by 39% year-on-year, so that the trade deficit shrank by a considerable 47.7% to amount to €1.16 billion against €2.22 billion a year earlier.