Greece to ban ‘frightening’ travel insurance coverage for tourists
Greece has ordered all its citizens to undergo mandatory safety and health checks, amid fears the travel industry is vulnerable to terrorism and the Zika virus.
The new measures are a response to a spate of deadly attacks in the country, including a series of attacks in November that killed 20 tourists.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the measures, announced on Tuesday, were designed to protect the country’s “public health and safety” by preventing people from getting infected or otherwise ill.
The measures come as authorities consider ways to crack down on terrorism.
In February, the Greek government announced a ban on public sector travel to and from the Middle East, including the use of private planes.
It said the ban was in response to concerns that the travel trade was vulnerable to attacks from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terror groups.
Tensions between the Greek state and the private sector have been high since Tsipra took office in May 2016, with the Greek financial sector, the countrys biggest employer, reporting the highest number of job losses in the EU.
The Greek economy, the largest in Europe, has been hit by the worst economic crisis in a generation, the most serious in its history.
The country has been under a state of emergency since the end of June.
Tsipras announced a raft of measures in June, including plans to ban the sale of cigarettes, alcohol and tobacco, and impose restrictions on the use and sale of mobile phones.
The measures have been backed by the opposition New Democracy party, which wants to impose new controls on the Greek economy.
Greece’s government has faced criticism from some quarters for its response to the deadly attacks.
Critics have accused the government of failing to adequately protect Greek citizens from the outbreak of the Zika epidemic.
At least 17 people have been killed and more than 100 people are still being treated in Athens hospitals, the capital.