Saturday, 4 Jul 2020

Greece quarantines all passengers on Qatar Airways flight

Ninety-one people on flight from Doha to Athens put into isolation after 12 test positive for coronavirus.

Greece has put all passengers on a flight from Qatar in quarantine after a dozen people onboard tested positive for coronavirus.

The individuals were on a Qatar Airways flight carrying 91 people from Doha to Athens that landed on Monday.

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Those who test positive will be in quarantine for 14 days, and those who test negative will remain in quarantine for seven days, the civil protection ministry said.

“Following these epidemiological facts, flights from and to Qatar are suspended until June 15,” the agency said in a statement.

Among those who tested positive on Monday’s flight were nine Pakistani nationals who are residents in Greece, two Greeks from Australia and a member of a Greek-Japanese family, it said.

They will be quarantined at a government-designated hotel for two weeks.

The official tourist season in Greece starts on June 15, when hotels reopen and some regular flights from abroad resume.

But passenger planes will only be flying into Athens and Thessaloniki in the north – and only from those parts of Europe and the world that escaped the worst of the pandemic. Other Greek airports are due to open on July 1.

Greece has reported a low number of COVID-19 cases compared to many other European countries and began a gradual easing of a weeks-long lockdown on May 4.

The government imposed a lockdown early in Greece’s coronavirus outbreak, a move credited with holding infections to a considerably lower level in the country of 11 million people. 

As of Thursday, nearly 3,000 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the country and 179 died, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Tourism is a crucial part of the Greek economy, accounting for 20 percent of its economic output, and the lockdown imposed in March hit the country hard.


Talk to Al Jazeera

Qatar health minister: ‘Coronavirus rate not high, but realistic’

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