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Greece safe travel destination for tourists

In view of the fatal wildfires this week in Greece, tourism authorities are reassuring visitors that travel is safe and all the necessary measures are in place.

Greece, together with Sweden, Latvia and Italy, is among the countries that have faced devastating fires due to high temperatures and strong winds. Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission pledged through its Civil Protection Mechanism to boost firefighting efforts in these territories.

In the meantime, according to the Foreign Office travel advisory, the fires in Greece are “confined to limited areas”, and main destinations, including Athens, are “unaffected”. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) goes on to add that the affected area “isn’t a main destination for UK tourists”.

All flights to Athens International Airport as well as all ferry connections to the islands from the port of Rafina, which is in the vicinity of Monday’s fire, are proceeding as scheduled.

Investigations have been launched into the causes of the wildfire that left at least 82 dead, dozens missing and injured. The fire brigade’s response was immediate with firefighting aircraft, ground search and rescue crew, the coast guard and individual boats as well as professional and volunteer divers, who rescued over 700 people and are currently combing the area for other survivors, while an unprecedented wave of volunteer support has been pouring in from across Greece, and Europe.

The area affected by the current fires, are holiday settlements where Athens residents and pensioners have summer homes.

“After operating in Greece for over 48 years, our teams on the ground are used to dealing a variety of situations ensuring guests comfort and safety at all times,” Chris Wright, managing director of Sunvil, told the Independent.

Useful Numbers

-Athens Airport: +30 210 3530000, +30 210 3531000
-Rafina port: +30 22940 22840
-Fire Brigade: 199
-British Embassy in Athens: +30 210 7272 600
–US Embassy in Athens: +30 210-720-2414, +30 210-720-2490 (after hours)
-Civil Protection Operations Center: +30 210 33 59 002-3 (24h)