Greece knew from the beginning that restarting tourism was "a complicated endeavor that required planning, gradual reopening and rules," Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said on Tuesday, and the global market rewarded the country.
On social media posts relating to the "Mein Schiff 6" that had to dock at Piraeus following the positive test results for coronavirus on 12 crew members that turned out to be false positives, Theoharis said, "Our priority was and remains safety. Our responsibility was and is Greece's good reputation."
He further said that he was in constant communication with Greek authorities handling the case and with cruiseship owner TUI "from the very first moment the issue came up."
"As I was informed, all 12 of the samples of crew members on Mein Schiff 6 cruiseship are now confirmed to be negative following two repeat rounds of tests, conducted by TUI Cruises, Greek authorities and a third, PCR, test," he noted.
Mein Schiff 6 was carrying out a cruise to Iraklio, Piraeus and Corfu when TUI agreed with Greek authorities to have it return to Piraeus for further tests, and isolated the 12 crew members preventatively. The measures of hygiene on the ship and the cleaning protocol provide no reason of concern for its passengers, crew and staff, the company said, as it has a comprehensive system to deal with possible Covid-19 cases on board.
TUI Cruises had said that repeat tests of the 12 showed that 6 had no sign of the virus and the other 6 were awaiting results of testing on Tuesday morning.
The ship docked in Piraeus early on Tuesday morning and a National Public Health Organization group boarded at 07:30 to retest the 12. The cruiseship carries 922 passengers and 666 crew and staff.