The arrival of Swedish tourists in Rhodes has aroused surprise and even outrage in the locals, Swedish media reported. Greek TV channels showed pictures of Swedes wearing face masks at the airport and asked tourists how they got to the country.
According to Aftonbladet, Greek media has accused Tui, a travel company that had flown tourists to Greece, of even “cheating” the authorities when the company brought Swedes into the country.
Greece had previously said that there should be no direct flights from Sweden before 15 July due to the Swedish corona situation. However, according to the representative of Tuui, this was an arrangement agreed with the Greek authorities.
- We had received permission from the Greek Minister of Tourism, said Tui's spokesman Adam Györki.
- We have been clear that we are allowed to be involved and open up travel to Greece and that we have Tuin staff, guests and journalists on board.
According to Györk, a quarter of the seats on the machine, which was almost full, were used by workers, their families and a few suppliers. The rest were ordinary tourists.
However, there was uncertainty in Greece about who would be on the flight. According to Rhodes Deputy Mayor Konstantinos Taraslias, only Tuui's staff and journalists were to be on the flight, Svenska Dagbladet says. He also told the concerned people who called him and asked about it. It was only from the TV broadcast to Tarasliaks that it became clear that there had also been tourists on the plane.
- I was hugely surprised, it was not the information we had received from the authorities. It was pretty special overall. But this issue has been dealt with by the government and not by us.
According to Taraslias, Tui has good relations with the Greek government. A few days ago, the company agreed to try to bring 1.5 million tourists to Greece during the summer. According to Taraslias, this is why Tui probably got a special permit.
A total of more than 71,000 coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in Sweden. More than 5,400 virus-related deaths have been recorded.
In Greece, more than 3,400 coronavirus infections have been diagnosed and 192 viral deaths have been recorded.