Dozens of holidaymakers have been barred from boarding flights from the UK to Greece because of confusing red tape caused by the coronavirus.
In July the Greek government announced that all passengers must submit a personal locator form including their travel and contact details 48 hours before departure. They are then emailed a QR code, which must be downloaded and presented at check-in.
The details are used for contact tracing in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak and arrivals who fail to comply face a €500 fine.
However, delays in receiving the code and differing interpretations of the rules by airlines have led to passengers being turned away at the airport.
Some travellers claim that their airline did not inform them of the new requirements or that minor form-filling errors cost them their holiday.
Karoki Lewis and his family were forbidden to board their easyJet flight to Kefalonia because he had not included the names of his two young children on the form.
“It appears to be impossible to add more than two passengers on the form; many other families have been affected because they only managed to enter the parents’ details,” he said.
“I pointed out that small children would obviously be with their parents throughout their holiday and therefore would be easily contactable for any Covid-19 tracing but I was told that even if we were allowed on the flight, the Greek authorities would send us straight home.”
The family spent £1,000 on new flights and accommodation a week later. EasyJet said it provides clear guidance to passengers by email, text and Flight Tracker when they book a flight
Conflicting advice on official websites has caused many passengers to fall foul of the rules.
The Greek government website initially stated that all passengers over 18 had to fill out separate forms; this month the advice was changed to allow households to fill out a single form and the deadline was changed to 24 hours before departure.
However, a confusing layout has left some passengers unclear how to add more than two names to the online form and some airlines are still insisting that each adult must submit separate forms. Carriers face steep fines if they transport passengers with inadequate documents.
Last week Wizz Air offloaded 28 passengers from a flight to Athens, citing inadequately completed forms. Several were denied boarding because they had not included their middle names, even though this is marked optional on the form. The airline has