Greece Bans Qatar Airways After 12 Passengers Test Positive For COVID-19

Filed Under: Qatar

Greece has done a pretty good job controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is planning for a big summer tourist season as of June 15, 2020, though before that’s even starting, one airline has been temporary banned from flying to Greece.

Greece temporarily bans Qatar Airways

On June 1, Qatar Airways flight 203 operated from Doha to Athens as scheduled, representing one of the first flights restored between the two countries since the pandemic started.

Greece is doing COVID-19 testing for all passengers on arrival until June 15, and all 91 passengers on the flight were tested. Of those, 12 tested positive for coronavirus. Because of this:

  • The 12 passengers who tested positive will be quarantined in a hotel for 14 days
  • The other passengers who tested negative will still be isolated for a week, before being tested again

Due to the number of passengers who tested positive, Greek’s Civil Protection Ministry has banned all flights to and from Qatar until June 15, 2020. While this in theory applies to other airlines as well, in reality Qatar Airways is the only airline flying between the two counties.

What was the connection between the passengers who tested positive?

  • Reports suggest that nine were Pakistani nationals with Greek residence permits, two were Greek nationals coming from Australia, and one was a Japanese national, so they arrived on different flights
  • Qatar Airways claims passengers had a health inspection before departure, though in reality that wasn’t a COVID-19 test, but rather was just a temperature check, etc.

I think the big question here is whether the passengers got infected on this particular flight, or whether (at least) three different parties all independently had COVID-19 before getting on the Doha to Athens flight.

12 of 91 passengers on a Qatar Airways flight tested positive for COVID-19

Airline liability for COVID-19?

Fortunately this incident happened while Greece is still testing all arriving passengers, so hopefully these 12 passengers won’t spread COVID-19 to anyone else. Who knows how many cases could have resulted if Greece wasn’t doing testing on arrival (and it also raises a lot of concerns about the risk when Greece stops regularly testing arriving passengers in the coming weeks).

This also raises an important overall question about the role airlines play in stopping the spread of COVID-19:

  • Most airlines are taking precautions to make flying as safe as possible, but aren’t requiring testing (or proof of a negative COVID-19 test)
  • The only time airlines are requesting COVID-19 test results is if a flight is to a destination where that’s required by law
  • While it would be nice if people had to be tested prior to getting on a plane, the reality is that testing isn’t readily available in many places, and it would also presumably limit the number of travelers even more

Greece is still testing all arriving passengers for now

I totally get Greece banning flights from Qatar, but what should the airline have done differently? It’s one thing if all the passengers originated in Qatar, but otherwise if the airline simply operated as the transit airline, which part of this is their responsibility?

As China allows foreign airlines to resume service, a similar situation is emerging, as the country will penalize airlines that carry passengers who test positive for COVID-19:

  • If an airline for three consecutive weeks doesn’t transport any passengers on flights to China who test positive for COVID-19, they will be allowed to open one more flight to China each week
  • If an airline transports five passengers on flights to China who test positive for COVID-19, flights to China will be suspended for a week, while if the number reaches 10, flights will be suspended for four weeks

Bottom line

Greece has banned Qatar Airways flights for about two weeks after 12 passengers from a single flight tested positive for COVID-19.

This sure makes you wonder about Greece reopening to tourists on a widespread basis as of June 15 without testing. It also raises a lot of questions about the responsibility that airlines have to ensure passengers don’t have COVID-19, given that there aren’t any airlines out there requesting testing prior to flying.

  1. So, you still going to Iceland? What if the guy all 20 rows back unknowingly has COVID? Doesn’t sound like a week of isolation would be a fun start to a vacation.

  2. Man, I sure hope the passengers’ hotels are nice.

    See how international travel right now is dumb?

  3. Its news like this that will slow the rebound in flying. It clearly shows that until there is a clear and concise protocol for pre and post air travel in place we are ‘spitting in the wind”

  4. It absolutely shouldn’t be the airlines responsibility. We don’t force cross border cars, buses and trains to test, why planes?

  5. Qatar should be banned. Their government owns the airline (Al-Jazeera too) and is a significant supporter of global terrorist groups.

  6. First of all, kudos to Greece for just having a system set up to catch this. Most places don’t.

    So, what was the timeline between screening (presumably immediately as passengers come off the plane?) and rounding up the super-spreaders after test results came in? Were they confined to a sealed room in the airport awaiting results, or were they freely spreading the pandemic among the public for X hours? Makes a crucial difference. If out and about, all of the hard-won progress of the past few months may be squandered, and it’s back to lockdown. That’s why it’s totally irresponsible to blithely travel casually right now.

    This incident shows both the weaknesses in the system, and highlights Greece’s good efforts – and it seems Greece has one of the best/most stringent systems (good luck even under these controlled conditions), good luck elsewhere where the system is basically “hope for the best.”

    Inconvenient, yeah. Digging all those graves, so inconvenient. That’s a pandemic. Lest everyone forget or deny.

  7. Yeah flying doesn’t make much sense at this time, even domestically.

    If we flew from NYC to Florida, our chance of infection could be high having to go through T4 at JFK (an international terminal) and then transiting through FLL or MIA, seems not worth it.

    Will unfortunately have to wait for a vaccine till we can fly again.

  8. Although those tested positive are not originally from Qatar, they were transferred through on the very same airline departed from the places they originate. What about those precautions the airline trumpets about and how efficient those measures they take are, not to mention the crew that will have to be quarantined for 14 days after this flight, providing none of them is actually infected. Penalizing the airlines and banning the flights by the countries that were desperately fighting to protect the spread and bring live back to more or less normal might be the only option that will actually make airlines reconsider their approach, rather than proclaiming self “the biggest airline”, which is another vaguely deserved achievement, without a doubt considered to be remarkable in narrow circles, despite the feelings of those who really suffer in times like these.

  9. Not surprised. This was bound to happen. When looking at Qatar’s covid numbers, its scary to think that they are using Qatar Airways as a super connector to the world.

    Just FYI Qatar as a nation currently has the highest infection rate per capita out of any country in the world. Basically one out of every 40 people in the country has a confirmed case of covid.

  10. I like the Greece caught this and they might even consider expanding testing from certain countries beyond June 15th. This is how the system works. And why I feel more comfortable for business travel coming later this summer to only go to those countries that are/were testing on arrival.

    Regarding the question, “Did they contract it on the plane there?” Umm, I don’t think you can contract Covid19 on a 6 hour flight and then test positive on landing. I could be wrong but wouldn’t it be a few days before you would test positive after being exposed?

  11. I thought even with the PCR test, you need to have been infected for a day or two before you get a positive result, no?

  12. @Micah, “ Basically one out of every 40 people in the country has a confirmed case of covid.”

    Is there a breakdown of the nationalities of the people testing positive?
    Gulf Arab or their slave labor class (Philippinos; Indonesians; Burmese; or the builders of their new stadium for the World Cup, North Koreans and Bangladeshis?)

  13. It does not make sense at all if any single COVID-positive passenger sends the whole airplane to one-week isolation. Ridiculous.

  14. Looks like 9 out of these 12 passengers originated in Pakistan. There were 13 cases on QR818 to HKG last week, all of which were also from Pakistan, and 8 cases on QR818 the week before, 7 from Pakistan.

    It would probably be easier for QR to just stop flying to Pakistan for the time being, or at least test prior to departure, as the outbreak there appears to be much worse than reported.

  15. As I have foreseen, people who do not respect health measures will come to this situation. People should be honest and aware of their health before taking a flight and infecting others.
    Really great job of the Greek authorities to track down these infected ones. Otherwise there will be another outbreak in Greece and jeopardising the coming Summer Holiday travels.
    This is a bad picture for QR, they should see this as sign to do more before letting pax travel with them.
    It sounds harsh, but people should be tested for Covid-19 before they check in! So at least the airlines have less problems isolating the infected ones and protecting other healthy pax.

  16. Why would anyone risk flying with these kinds of policies in place, especially for business? Can’t do much business locked down in a hotel for a week. I’m not sure opening with these policies is much better at all than staying closed.

  17. @ Micah: Check the John Hopkins chart before spewing misinformation. It is a violation of the commenting guidelines that Tiffany failed to monitor and enforce. This blog is to share experiences and knowledge among readers. It is acceptable to express stupidity but not peddling deception and confusion.
    The airlines are complicit in increasing the infected cases just as much as the bloggers advocating for leisure travels in time when there is no vaccine and the experts are still learning about the virus. Do you ever question why these European countries and others are open for leisure travels when all East Asian countries that effectively mitigate the infection and have a fraction of infected cases and deaths are still closed to tourism? The answer is the shadow god of money.

  18. [email protected]

    Qatar has not to my knowledge provided an exact breakdown of workers vs citizens infected. Reports say its mainly workers, but still the workers are still within the country and although isolated, they have reached over 60,000 infected (official figures) yet only 45 registered deaths, which is remarkably low (like impossibly low death rate compared to anywhere in the world). That size of official infection rate in a small country is hard to contain.

    Perhaps, once testing positive Qatar flies them to their home country so the deaths are not counted in their totals or they are just not registering the deaths.

  19. This is ridiculous. I love to travel, it’s a huge part of my life… but it’s too soon for this.

    The only people who should be flying anywhere right now are those who have to get home or those doing it as part of essential work.

  20. @Micah Qatar’s migrant worker population probably skews young and healthy since older people don’t move to the middle east to be migrant construction workers and the weak ones probably already died from the 16 hour work days outside in the 50 degree C heat.

  21. Is there any evidence that people have become infected on flights? I suspect the issue with airlines has been infected people flying from hot spots to places without epidemics, not people becoming sick while flying.

  22. As a COVID 19 survivor, my doctors told me that testing is highly unreliable, especially in the first five days after infection where as many as 50% false negatives are reported. After that, the false negatives could be as high as 20%. The point is that half that flight could be infected. I tested positive six days after returning from Milan on 6 March with absolutely no symptoms. I’ll never know when and where I contracted the virus but my doctors said the Milan airport or my flight to JFK were probably good candidates. If Greece and other countries open their borders, with or without testing, they must be willing to accept the risk of virus spread. Likewise, potential travelers to these countries have the right to know what the restrictions are prior to travel (and booking) if people on their flights test positive. I’d avoid travel to any country which has such severe restrictions in place. I’m not saying the quarantines are unwarranted, just that the potential for them is enough to avoid travel until they are relaxed or removed. And finally, what happens to those who are currently in quarantine in Greece, with no airline available to get them out in the near term?

  23. For those doubting the low death rate in countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sources have it that they are mostly foreign workers. Similar to Singapore where the outbreak is mostly from the dormitories housing foreign workers who mostly work in construction and other low wage jobs. These are generally young men in their 20s to 40s. More than 33,000 of them have tested positive in Singapore and none has died from the virus. Singapore stands at 36k + cases as of today, majority from the dorms. 24 fatalities the youngest of which is 51, from the rest of the community (not the dorms). So yeah I believe the low death rate from Qatar and Saudi

  24. People
    Please kindly be nice and don’t be a Drama Queen if you are indeed to choose to travel.
    Live your life to the fullest and even if you are just going to any store, the risk of contaminated of this flu always there.
    It doesn’t have to be on bus/train/plane or hotel
    Take a chance and enjoy the summer

  25. @Wade, worldwide deaths are nearing 400k despite extreme measures taken by almost all nations worldwide. It’s inconceivable how many deaths we would’ve had if people listened to all the idiots calling COVID 19 no big deal.

  26. Y’all do realize that the overwhelmingly majority of people survive Covid-19, right? And that as many as 40% of cases are totally asymptomatic? You’re speaking about this disease as if it’s the plague; according to the CDC, the case fatality rate is around 0.4%. Hypochrondia is not a virtue.

  27. @Wade – go to 4Chan or Gab where you can freely talk about how great the Holocaust was for humanity (as you previously tried to do on this blog). SMH that you aren’t IP blocked already.

  28. @Wade: the only reason why “only” 390.000 people have died is because drastic measures were taken to stop the spread of the virus. There are 6.6M people confirmed infected, so that is a death rate of >5% (although in reality it will be lower because not everyone who got the virus was tested). In any case, I would not call a virus for which they need to build emergency hospitals and burry victims in mass graves in Central Park “relatively inoccuous”…

  29. @Robert Schroeder You do realize the mortality rate is a function of how overwhelmed the medical system is right? Prognosis is good if you have a ventilator, but much less so if you don’t. Also survival is not the same thing as a full recovery.

  30. @Jan. “Dumbass”??
    Are you illiterate?
    I never mentioned the grossly abused slave labor class working in the terrorist-funding state sponsor or terrorism, Qatar, we’re going on summer flings.

    @Micah- thanks for the added feedback. Seems like Singapore is following a similar track with their slave labor class suffering in high density dorm rooms; no healthcare provided.

    @Wade- It’s a political virus. They needed fear and panic to create destroy.

    @Robert- They have no room for accurate numbers and reality. When it comes to the utterly fake virus models ( cases and deaths) reminds me of CA Governor Tyrant Newsom; “We’ll have millions more infected in CA in weeks.” That was two months ago.

  31. @Tiffany/Ben – you guys seriously want to do better w.r.t. current events? Are you truly committed? Easy first step – ban the racists. Ban the hoaxers (you have done a bit, but they still lurk on here – a few of them have posted just before me). They are just here to spew hate – they don’t care about your travel content, they don’t add anything to the discourse.

    I’ve been reading & posting on here for over a decade now (well prior to the Rolling Stone article), and it’s frankly disgusting how the racists & xenophobes have multiplied here (unsurprisingly they have sprung up en masse post-2016…gee I wonder why). Guess what – when it’s your own privately owned blog, you don’t have to let everyone speak here, 1st Amendment doesn’t apply.

    Do better. Seriously. What’s stopping you? Does a poster who championed the benefits of the Holocaust REALLY deserve a second chance to post here? Come on. Take a stand.

  32. 12 arrivals testing positive out of 91 passengers seems to be problematic for future airline tourism. The story made it to the local Greek newspaper here in Australia a while ago. The consulate has become involved to find out how and why.

    If I’m not mistaken, there was a couple with dual passports wanting to leave Australia and return to Greece for compassionate reasons.

    We still have an overseas travel ban in operation and a very low infection rate. The Greek government had made overtures to opening a travel bubble with Australia, but I guess this situation will delay that.

    It might be that their testing system has issues. If so, that would have broader ramifications for their planned opening to tourism as travellers could lose any sense of confidence in their system.

    The other possibility is that Australia, Japan and Pakistan are nations of carriers of COVID19 all passing as negative with our various levels of testing, not getting sick, but only discernable by a Greek airport test.

    Either case would be a worry…..

  33. Sure makes you wonder about the viability of any international travel at this point. Who wants to travel across the globe to be thrown into quarantine because someone on a plane tested positive?

  34. @Koen While the COVID crisis is indeed serious I take issue with the whole “mass graves in central park” statement. Living in NYC I can assure you that is a complete hoax.

  35. @Robert Schrader “Hypochrondia is not a virtue.” Nor is being a douche every time you comment here. Your “facts” and “statistics” are always skewed in defense of one thing: that you run a “travel coaching” business. Whatever that is. Maybe you should try Zoom personal fitness training as a gig for now?

    With that said, how about a middle ground. You don’t send out Bob and Martha on a cruise in the Mediterranean with assurances that everyone is a hypochondriac and this is all overblown, while those of us that need to travel and can do so without a “travel coach” test the waters and get back to you.

  36. I hate people who misuse statistics to confuse people or maybe confuse themselves.

    @wade, your statistic is absurd. You are absurd. The chances of getting struck by lightning in a year in the us is 1/1,222,000. Average deaths per year in the us is 27, with about 9x that many injuries. So, using the real statistics from the same place you got them, covid is at least 4,000 times more deadly in 3 months than a year’s worth of lightning.

    How can you defend such behavior? You’re simply a liar. If you want to argue that things have been overblown, fair enough, do that. But be honest. You make people on your side look bad when you blatantly lie and mislead.

  37. Qatar Airways have also brought in 17 positive cases to Hong Kong in last 2 weeks and 2 into Singapore . Mostly transit passengers in Doha from India, Pakistan , and Middle East countries . This was not widely reported , but I am stranded in Hong Kong and I watched the HK government press conference . Qatar are also charging 3 times the usual fares on routes , they have been the only airline on some routes and flying empty into some countries to get people out and home , so some say that’s good , and some say making money from peoples misery being stranded is not nice . We are waiting to fly home to Cyprus and we decided not to fly Qatar for the health risk reasons . It is either their aircraft or more likely Doha airport transit . We have waited an extra month and now booked home on 21st June on Swiss Air HK/Larnaca via Zurich . Guys , my advice is stay away from Qatar and Doha .

  38. So to add to the above , HK, Singapore and Athens all test arrivals and they caught the Qatar Airlines positive cases. There have been lots of passengers arriving in UK on Qatar Airline and NOT being tested and just merging into the country and this has probably happened in many locations . Testing at arrivals is THE ONLY WAY

  39. @Wade – you really know nothing about this . It is believed that masks have helped many people in Asia and China and kept the number of cases and deaths low . Compare China deaths now to USA and Russia . Compare Hong Kong with 4 deaths , 1060 cases in a congested population of 7.5 million with deaths in New York or Paris . It is only foolish governments in Europe and USA that have said they are not needed. The experts say they help . Now we see lots more people making their own decision to wear masks . Except the idiot Trump .

  40. @Wade – your “fancy typin'” can’t hide the fact you praised the Holocaust. End of story. The site owners deleted your post (obviously) but still let you post here, god knows why. I have challenged them to do better – not sure why you deserve a second chance here – you offer nothing other than posing as another “hoaxer” and espousing fake statistics (as noted above). Go spread your nonsense on Reddit or Breitbart wherever and let this be a travel site.

  41. @ UA-NYC — Yeah, it’s exhausting. We can block to an extent, but without a system that requires logins and some kind of verification via a third-party account (which we’re reluctant to do, given that we theoretically/historically like people being able to comment anonymously) it’s like bailing water with a teaspoon.

  42. To be honest, I don’t think any of this is an easy topic, and I am constantly swinging between the urge to travel and the concern about the situation.

    There’s not a single truth either. I think we can’t live under a rock until a vaccine is available, and we can’t drive our economies and the tourism sector against a wall. So I think that we must accept a certain level of cases and keep it as low as possible, while allowing those who are healthy and feel safe to travel to do so. At the same time, we must use caution, protect the vulnerable, and stay vigilant.

    We are all in this together and everyone must assess their own risk, their own situation, and use common sense.

  43. 12 positives out of 91 passengers is an alarming rate. It is more than six times the infection rate in Qatar, and twenty times the infection rate worldwide. Strong suspiction that at least some got infected inside the plane…
    We had SARS (03), MERS all infect people through an airplane so I don’t see why this corona would be an exception…

  44. @Wade – take your QAnon-esque conspiracy garbage back to the underground…your faux-1st Amendment argument doesn’t apply here

    Vast Majority Of Readers Liking This Site Focused On Travel

  45. @Robert Schrader: 0.4% mortality rate?? Not sure which La La Land you’re in, or how long have you been listening to Faux News or the types, the current global as well as American mortality rate is around 7-8%!

    Go preach this rubbish among your clans.

  46. @David:

    “Prognosis is good if you have a ventilator”

    Afraid not. ~80% of those placed on a ventilator ultimately die from the virus.

  47. @KK13:

    “the current global as well as American mortality rate is around 7-8%!”

    We don’t actually know that. There are many infected who are asymptomatic or have minor symptoms and don’t seek medical treatment. They are not included in the number infected.

    Right now, the mortality rates are based on the percentage of those confirmed with COVID-19 who pass (generally whether from passing from COVID-19 or any other cause of death–if you are positive for COVID, that is listed as the cause of death). But we don’t actually know how many have been infected.

    The current mortality rate in the U.S. is 5.76% (1,893,894 confirmed infected and 108,996 deaths), but that is universally known to be high since there is a large number of infected people who have not been tested and survived that would bring that percentage down, likely quite a bit.

    And while there are some who have died from COVID without diagnosis, that is fully expected to be a much smaller number than the undiagnosed positive carriers.

    It is a lot of guesswork, but your estimate is very high.

  48. 1KBrad: Because of a project that I collaborate with the CDC, I know the current death rate is between 7 to 8%.. so your 5.8% approximation from the news data isn’t that far off.

    But it’s definitely not 0.4% as Robert mentioned – now that we call completely off the mark.

  49. @KK13 I take it you don’t understand basis infectious disease science, so allow me to explain part of it to you. Covid-19’s case fatality rate (that is, the number of people who die from a disease divided by the number of people who have been infected) is necessarily different from the observed fatality rate. We have no idea how many people have actually contracted the Wuhan Coronavirus. However, the CDC has conducted a months-long study to discern the “denominator,” as it were, and has calculated Covid-19’s CFR to be 0.4%. Look it up.

    Seriously, I doubt so many of you would be afraid of your own shadows (and content to stay locked in your basements “until there’s a vaccine,” which FYI may never come) if you were basing your actions and feelings on facts, not fear.

    Also @David In spite of the huge stink many governors made about ventilators, intubation with O2 has proven to be a more effective treatment for patients with severe respiratory side effects. I guess you haven’t read the news since the last week of March!

  50. @Robert Schrade: Take your cacophony to them who would buy you cheap beers in bars.

    Ever worked with a virus in a BSL-III system? Ever seen patients die from COVID-19 in a span of 10-15 minutes? Nope! So yeah, don’t lecture me.

    I know what I am talking about, it’s you who have no clue because like millions of FB and Blog scientists populating the earth, you are another Economy wannabe lecturing doctors what to do and how to check viral pandemic! Talk about audacity, these days! Then again can’t blame you, when he Cheetoh keeps popping in HCQ pills every morning.

    To give you a clue, this is not your DJIA or investor market to carry out a flat percentage basis. Some of us didn’t spend 10 years with residency, that too at Johns Hopkins, to not know what we are talking about and how to calculate mortality rates.

    Do us a favor, move on, and stay safe! Keep others safe by putting a mask on.
    You can thank me in your dreams.

  51. @Tiffany/Ben – when you allow racists to post “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan Virus” here (and I can count one just upthread), that just is a tacit condoning of further discrimination against Asian-Americans:

    Again – your site, but please do better – “free speech” sounds fine and dandy until you see the real-world consequences when it’s filled with hate and violence. There’s a reason why no other country in the world followed Trump’s/Pompeo’s lead in trying to brand it that way.

  52. @KK13:

    “Because of a project that I collaborate with the CDC, I know the current death rate is between 7 to 8%.. so your 5.8% approximation from the news data isn’t that far off.

    But it’s definitely not 0.4% as Robert mentioned – now that we call completely off the mark.”

    We don’t know what the number is. Any number is based on faulty data and the modeling has shown itself to be as reliable as the 2016 election results polling.

    The <5.8% is based on actual published numbers at John Hopkins. Where is your 7-8% published by the CDC?

    And the <5.8% is highly inflated because, until recently, the base of those tested were only those showing symptoms. Until the number that are asymptomatic or have light symptoms are tested and identified, the cited percentage will remain high.

    But It's certainly not 7-8% and, I agree, very likely higher than .04%.

  53. @UA-NYC – Can you please cease and desist with all the accusations, name calling, and demands for censorship? I was attracted to this blog because of its depth and breadth of current information on travel trends and opportunities. Your apparent need to incessantly lash out at every dimwitted comment degrades the overall quality of publication on this site. You also can do better. Just let it go. Turn the other cheek, as it were. Let’s focus on the travel!

  54. @Roger – just calling out those who espouse racism and xenophobia and conspiracy. This IS supposed to be a travel blog, right?

  55. @UA-NYC:

    I can’t see the original comments because they have been deleted, but I agree with Roger. Lighten up a bit.

    It is not racist to call a virus that originated in China the Chinese Virus. I know in this feel-safe world we’re not supposed to say anything even remotely offensive, but this is the real world and everything is not necessarily racist.

    It’s a public forum. If you don’t like what someone says, ignore it or stop reading it. It’s not YOUR forum. If Lucky or his staff want to delete something, that’s up to them. They don’t need you to tell them what you find offensive.

    Can we get back to the subject now, please?

  56. @UA-NYC This is a travel blog, which is why I’m puzzled by how many people come on here simply to lecture and shame those of us who are ready to resume traveling.

  57. Hey Lucky, you’re wondering :
    “I think the big question here is whether the passengers got infected on this particular flight, or whether (at least) three different parties all independently had COVID-19 before getting on the Doha to Athens flight”.
    Even if the passengers have been infected on that flight, they can not, scientifically, have their test already positive by their arrival at Athens. So, I guess, your question is answered….

  58. @UA-NYC – Understood. This thread is just a little hard to follow, I guess. Lots of comments to someone named Wade, but no actual comments from anyone named Wade.

  59. I dont understand why only airlines have to “pay the price” for bringing in people with positive Covid cases. Like Lucky said, what is an airline supposed to do differently? They are not a health authority, they are a transport company. If you must assign blame, then blame must go to the relevant authority(ies) that let those people move freely. And that includes the destination country, who actually has the greatest authority by virtue of the ability to issue travel restrictions to/from infection hotspot areas or some other regions who statistically are more vulnerable. In this case, Greece could have restrict travel from Pakistan (who have been known to export many cases previously) and you stop the headline news here. Travel restriction policy can range from an outright entry ban to a more flexible one that include requiring passenger(s) to produce a valid negative Covid test before being allowed to board a plane. Policies that punish an airline (like one instituted by Greece and China) for simply being a messenger is just grossly unfair in my book.

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