EASYJET, Ryanair and TUI have been forced to cancel flights to Greece next month after the country extended the UK flight ban.
Despite initial plans to welcome Brits back by July 1, the Greek government has extended the ban until July 15, due to the UK’s high coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the announcement yesterday scuppering any plans of a holiday to Greece in the next two weeks.
He explained that the “the whole opening process is dynamic and the data will be constantly evaluated,” according to local media.
Airlines are now cancelling customer’s flights due to the change in advice, which will not let British tourists into the country just yet.
Ryanair, easyJet and TUI passengers are now finding their flights to the mainland and islands are being cancelled.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “Following today’s announcement by the Greek authorities, we will being reviewing our flying schedule and any customers whose flights are required to be cancelled as a result of any restrictions will be notified and informed of their options which include a free of charge transfer, a voucher for the value of their booking or a refund.”
A spokesperson for TUI added: “In accordance with updated advice from the Greek Government, our planned flights to Greece between 11-14 July won’t go ahead.”
Earlier this month, TUI said they would resume holidays to Spain and Greece from next month with “absolute confidence”.
Commercial director Richard Sofer said: “We have absolute confidence that we’re going to be getting a positive result from the Government in time for July.”
Since then, the airline has cancelled Greek flights and TUI’s Managing Director Andrew Flintham warned that Brits need to be prepared for more countries to follow Greece.
Mr Flintham told Radio 4’s Today programme: “The conversations with overseas countries, as Greece has demonstrated, is a two-way decision.
“So I think there are still going to be a few bumps in the road and I still think there will be some countries that won’t be opening up – which means we’ll have to cancel a few more holidays, but hopefully not as many as we’ve been cancelling.”
The announcement made by the Greek government comes as the UK prepares to announce air bridges with other countries, to allow quarantine-free travel.
Greece was thought to be included in this, along with France and Spain, although this may no longer be the case.
Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis previously told ITV News that the UK’s record on coronavirus is not good enough at the moment for Brits to be allowed to return.
“I think that the UK has a big difference in terms of the current medical status of the country with Greece, so I don’t think it’s likely it will be there,” he said.
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