Coronavirus: Greece to suspend all flights to UK this week in fresh travel blow

Holidaying Brits face a fresh travel blow as Greece announced it will be suspending all flights to the UK from Monday 23rd March.

The country citied concerns over coronavirus, and the suspension will last until 15th April – but could be extended.

Greece made the decision after the country’s biggest airline, Aegean Airlines, broke the news that it would halting all international routes as of Thursday.

Aegean will be suspending flights through to April 30th, but said it would operate emergency flights and "limited domestic routes."

In a statement, Aegean Airlines said: “Given the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions imposed by Greece, EU and other states, as well as the newly adopted measures for the restriction of unnecessary movements in Greece, AEGEAN is obliged to proceed with the temporary suspension of its international flights.

"A small number of weekly flights from Athens to Brussels will be operated, in order to maintain the country’s connectivity with the EU’s administrative centre."

On Thursday, the Foreign Office warned Brits of the planned closure of accommodation at midnight on 22nd March, sparking lockdown fears.

It follows a call for all British nationals to return from Spain after the Spanish Prime Minister declared a state of emergency on March 14.

From that point, the country introduced a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said: "British travellers who are currently in Spain and who wish to return to the UK are advised to make travel plans to do so as soon as possible.

"The Spanish government has now ordered that hotels and short-stay accommodation (such as short-stay campsites or caravan parks) must close by Tuesday March 24."

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Reports emerged of Spain’s closure after Jet2 flights from England to Spain reportedly turned around “mid-air” and returned to the UK.

Flights to destinations such as Malaga and Alicante all did a U-TURN, and at the time, the company said it was contacting customer in a “fast-moving and complex situation.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move to close Spain "will protect all its citizens" and "guarantee" the right conditions to tackle the deadly virus.

He said: "The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible."

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