Strict timetable for flights from Britain “come what May … and from July we will see!”
In the worst case after June 21 people to land on the island
Γ. Filippopolitis: “Everything is open for better or worse”
Γ. Margaris: “We waited a little earlier for flights
What the British Government has announced is causing concern and anxiety in the tourist world of our island, which through four chronological steps clarifies how the situation in the country will move from now on due to the coronavirus. Regarding tourism, which concerns us more, Britain states that in the first two steps (March and April) international flights will not be allowed, while the epidemiological picture of the country will be examined on May 17, which is in the third step, in order to allow British abroad.
“We are interested in the 17th of May, when it will be announced whether international flights will be allowed, and the 21st of June, when it seems that there will be no restrictions at all. All of this has a chance to change for the better or for the worse. At the moment in England we have good news that many vaccinations have been given. Vaccinated must be over 17 million. The bad thing is that they have several cases and they are in a hard lockdown and this does not allow people to think about the holidays “, stresses the travel agent Giannis Filippopolitis.
Beyond that, if flights are not allowed in mid-May, the fourth and final step makes it clear that from 21 June onwards, the British government will allow citizens to travel for holidays, provided the epidemiological picture of the country always allows.
“According to the announcements of the British Government, it seems that the country is going to a slower opening of the market from the lockdown. This means that for them they want to return to normalcy with confidence which means without having any closure later. They want to have a good period with the issue of coronavirus and that is why they seem to be going for such options. They focused on education and the opening of schools and all other activities much later. This means that we can not expect tourism from Great Britain at least from May 17 and if it starts from then we will have tourism from mid-June until everything gets a normal flow “emphasizes the president of the Zakynthos Hoteliers Association George Margaris, who clarifies that the decision of the British Government is not a good development for our island, as if it does not change, tourists will be late for the summer season.
“It is better to be sure and know when we will open businesses than to wait and have high expectations with less results. We must adapt and bring out our program, because as you know the British market is 50% of Zakynthos tourism and based on these dates we should move too “.
Mr. Filippopolitis stressed for his part that there are no indications for tourism to start earlier, while until then the companies have frozen the packages they had planned for the summer.
“Practically it means that until May 17 we will not have flights from Great Britain and then maybe even earlier we will have indications whether we will start on June 21 or earlier. I want to believe that it will be the worst case scenario to start on June 21st. It is understood that at the moment the companies are obliged to freeze all the packages they have sold by May 17th. Hopefully it will be a good scenario. We do not know and it is too early. It is the timetable usually followed by the British. They even give details about the weddings and how many people will go “.
Attempt to expand this year’s tourist season
Particularly important in view of the summer season is the issue of extending the season for a few more months to last even longer as the weather our island boasts can receive tourists. Mr. Margaris noted that such a thing would be a good solution since the British visitors will come to Zakynthos again late.
“We hope that this year we will have the opportunity to extend the tourist season. As far as I know, agreements are being made between the Greek Government and Britain and other countries so that we can definitely have tourism in October, but also to extend it later until mid-November. Things are difficult and we have been closed for a long time. “Additional costs will be needed to open the businesses, let alone those that did not operate last year and have been closed for two years.”
Also another issue that is being discussed more and more is the vaccination certificate that some governments have requested for those coming from abroad and everything indicates that it may be implemented this summer.
“It is very possible and the proposal of our prime minister to have a health document is being discussed more and more and I think almost all countries will adopt it and that is why we see that there is this possibility that there is no need for a test. The health passport will indicate that they have been vaccinated. We will see with which countries this agreement will exist. This is the most probable scenario, Mr Filippopolitis said.
Everything shows that until May 17 everything will remain as it is for British tourists with the government of this country having established a very strict timetable to stop the spread of the coronavirus but also to be able to allow after a reasonable period to give the “green light” for the launch of international flights.