Travellers to Greece have been warned that the situation there could “deteriorate rapidly” if no new debt deal is reached soon, instructing tourists to take medical supplies in case of shortages.
British Finance Minister George Osborne warned of growing risks in Greece as a flurry of meetings took place on Monday after Greece’s resounding rejection of fresh austerity measures in return for a new bailout in a Sunday referendum.
“If there is no signal from these meetings that Greece and the eurozone are ready to get around the table again, we can expect the financial situation in Greece to deteriorate rapidly,” Osborne said.
“As the economic crisis in Greece persists, there are greater risks of shortages.”
Osborne said extra staff had been sent to the British embassy in Athens, “to be prepared for whatever happens”.
In addition, more consular staff were sent to the Greek islands of Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Zakynthos, where there are many British tourists.
“We need to be realistic: the prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are sadly diminishing,” Osborne told parliament.
Greek banks will remain closed until Wednesday with limits on daily withdrawals unchanged, officials have said as the European Central Bank maintained its liquidity assistance to the nation’s beleaguered lenders.
“Until Wednesday evening we continue as things stand today,” said Louka Katseli, chairwoman of the National Bank of Greece.
“If there is a decision by the European Central Bank in the meantime enabling us to modify this decision, there will be a new decision,” she added, speaking on behalf of the association of Greek banks on Monday.
Britain’s foreign office updated its travel advice for the country, telling travellers to ensure they had sufficient medical supplies for their stay and for any unexpected delays.
“Make sure you have sufficient medical supplies …. adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation,” the advice read.
Similarly, the Australian Government’s travel advisory SmartTraveller has updated its advice, stating “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could become limited at short notice.”
It also said, “Make sure you have more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit cards, credit cards), and make sure you have enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays.”