The Dutch vacationers who visited the Greek island of Rhodes last week as a government-backed experiment to see if tourism is feasible during the pandemic have uniformly positive impressions of their all-inclusive holiday.
The pilot holiday scheme, called “Safe Corridor”, was organized by Dutch tour operator Sunweb and Air France Group’s Transavia Airlines, with the approval of the Greek and Dutch governments.
The group of 188 vacationers, who were selected from over 250,000 applicants, paid 399 euros per person for the eight-day all-inclusive vacation, at the 5-star Mitsis Grand Hotel Rhodes.
Strict health and safety protocols during Rhodes holiday
The “Safe Corridor” vacation trial with the Dutch travelers was carried out with the purpose of collecting data on safe and responsible travel during the pandemic.
Therefore, extremely specific, detailed hygiene protocols had to be followed by all the travelers from start to finish.
The Dutch vacationers took both a PCR and a rapid test at 72 hours and at 4 hours respectively before their inbound and outbound flights.
During their stay on the island, they were not allowed to leave the hotel premises.
The same rule applied for the hotel staff as well, who underwent PCR tests before the beginning and at the end of the program and stayed at the hotel throughout the eight-day period.
Five days after their return to the Netherlands, all the guests will have to undergo a new PCR test as well.
“The successful outcome of the project contributes to the promotion of Greece as a safe holiday destination and marks the smooth start of the tourist season and the gradual return to normalcy,” stated Stavros Mitsis, the managing director of Mitsis Hotels.
“The feedback of all the guests is very positive and, despite the restrictions, which were known in advance, everyone enjoyed a wonderful vacation. The security protocols established by Sunweb Group and the Dutch government were strictly implemented by the hotel,” the Director of tour operator Sunweb, Reinoud Koot, added in a statement.
More travelers arrive in pilot opening of tourist season
While the Dutch vacationers are now on their way back home, Greece’s pilot lifting of its quarantine requirement began on Monday, April 19.
The country will now open its doors to a limited number of American, British, EU, UAE, Serbian and Israeli travelers who either are vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or can show a negative PCR test upon arrival.
This trial move was designed to lead up to the official launch of the 2021 tourism season on May 14.
Similarly to the “Safe Corridor” holiday trial scheme on Rhodes, this soft opening of the tourism sector is expected to help authorities in identifying policy gaps and omissions ahead of the generalized travel ban being lifted for visitors and residents alike.
In the context of the efforts to walk into the tourist season safely, the Greek Minister of Tourism announced that employees in the tourism and hospitality sector will be the next group of citizens in line to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
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