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Greece to reopen to cruise travel from August 1

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Piraeus - one of six Greek ports reopening for homeporting operations from August 1
Greece will reopen cruise travel as of August 1, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis has confirmed.

He said cruise ships will be allowed to berth for homeporting operations at the ports of Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu and Katakolon, and that subsequently ships will be able to make transit calls at other Greek ports on their itinerary.

However, Theocharis said the situation and the regulations could be reviewed depending on current epidemiological data. He said cruise travel will abide with all the health and safety protocols set by the European Union due to coronavirus.

EU guidance

The EU guidance for restarting cruise ship operations recommends for cruise ships to carry 60% of the maximum passenger capacity and to conduct mandatory checks on passengers and crew before boarding, which would include thermal screening and the submission of a special health declaration.

The guidance says that ships should make ‘isolation cabins’ available for quarantine purposes should a coronavirus case occur. Also, before starting journeys, cruise companies should make arrangements with local port authorities of the home port for possible isolation procedures. The facilities like hospitals and hotels should also be pre-specified.

Moreover, the guidance says all persons working on board ship, whether officers or crew, who interact with passengers or crew on board or ashore should have training about dealing with COVID-19 cases.

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