Australia’s travel advisory regarding Greece has remained unchanged in light of the recent riots and protests in Athens and the tragic death of three people in a bank that was firebombed by masked demonstrators on Wednesday.
Certain media have reported that Australians have been warned against travelling to Greece.
Currently the advice is for Australian travellers to “exercise caution” which is the second lowest status of warning after “be alert to own security”.
Greece’s status is the same as the ones provided for the U.S. or Britain. The “exercise caution” warning is followed by “high degree of caution”, “reconsider your need to travel” and “do not travel”.
Neos Kosmos asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade whether the travel advisory to Greece has changed.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is concerned about the rioting in Greece.
We are saddened at the loss of life and our Embassy in Athens is closely monitoring the situation,” a DFAT spokesperson said.
The existing travel advice for Greece outlines among other things that “groups opposed to the Greek Government, Greek institutions, Western commercial and diplomatic interests have bombed government, commercial and other buildings in Greece on several occasions; these attacks have increased over recent months; some have resulted in death and/or injury; violent rioting can break out with little warning; you should avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may become violent.”
However, the DFAT spokesperson confirmed that the advisory had not changed in light of the recent events while clarifying that “all Australian travel advisories, including our travel advice for Greece, are kept under constant review.”
In a late news bulletin of Channel Ten on Thursday it was reported that “Australians have been warned not to travel to Greece.”
When Neos Kosmos contacted Channel Ten, Executive Producer Ramon Dale acknowledged that inadvertently a mistake was made: “Unfortunately…an error crept into the bulletin that stated a new travel warning had been issued to Australians to avoid travel to Greece.”
“This was incorrect. It was a misinterpretation of comments by Prime Minister Rudd earlier that day that ‘Australian authorities will analyse the situation in Greece and change travel advisories if necessary.”
Mr Dale undertook to run a correction on Friday’s late news bulletin.