With the Greece Financial Crisis worsening, many questions have come in from our customers seeking advice on what to do about their planned visits.
The Greek banks are shut this week and you may have heard that cash withdrawals from ATM’s are being capped at EUR60 per day – that’s about NZD100. The good news here is that the cap only applies to locals, not foreigners. However, this means that there are queues for cash machines and the possibility of them closing or running out of money is increased. Credit cards may also be refused in some establishments.
As has been publicly advised in the UK and in order for the financial turmoil to have as little impact on your plans as possible, we suggest taking all the cash you will need plus extra for emergencies. But you need to take note of the policy wording around personal money as you may be taking more than you are covered for under your travel insurance. The comprehensive policy here at Worldcare covers you for a maximum of NZD500. As carrying cash is such a high risk part of travelling, take the precaution of keeping the cash that you don’t need for the day in your hotel room’s safe.
The impact of the financial crisis isn’t just affecting banks. There are also strikes- which can affect public transport. Make sure you plan ahead and are flexible with your travel arrangements so that you can still enjoy the delicious food and beautiful sights that Greece has to offer.
We also ask that you are careful around crowds and avoid protests; there are demonstrations that sometimes taking place in central Athens. Safetravel.govt.nz (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s advisory website) has classed Greece as ‘some risk’ and advised “New Zealanders in Greece are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations and comply with any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities”.
We here at Worldcare love Greece and hope that you will still travel there if you have planned to even if you are worried about current events (remember change of plans aren’t covered by insurance companies!). Greece is a wonderful country and continued tourism will assist their economy, just make sure you keep you and your family safe!
For more information on the travel advisory from MFAT, please visit: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/greece