PM’s father Stanley Johnson, 79, jets to his Greek mountain-top villa (via Bulgaria) in flagrant disregard of his own son’s ‘essential travel only’ rules
- Mr Johnson flew into Athens via Sofia last night to visit his mountain villa
- He said he is in Pelion on ‘essential business trying to Covid-proof my property’
- Former Tory MEP travelled through Bulgaria as direct flights from UK banned
The Prime Minister’s father has jetted to Greece in flagrant disregard of pandemic travel advice from the Government.
Stanley Johnson flew despite Foreign Office guidance saying Britons should not go abroad unless they have to.
The 79-year-old arrived in Athens last night to visit his mountain villa. He boasted of his trip in a pair of Instagram posts showing his plane coming in over Athens.
The former Tory MEP had flown via the Bulgarian capital Sofia because the Greek government has banned direct flights from the UK until mid-July.
Speaking from the balcony of his villa in northern Greece last night, Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m in Pelion on essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season.
‘I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they’re taking it very seriously here.
Stanley Johnson (pictured in an image posted to Instagram yesterday) flew into Athens via Sofia despite Foreign Office guidance saying Britons should not go abroad unless they have to
The former Tory MEP had flown via the Bulgarian capital Sofia because the Greek government has banned direct flights from the UK until mid-July
‘The Greeks are trying to stop bulk arrivals from the UK but they were quite happy to have me coming in.
‘All they wanted to know where I was coming from and what I was doing. Then I had my temperature taken and was swabbed twice.
‘We must get these air bridges set up as soon as possible. From what I’ve seen the arrival of the British will not be a danger to the Greeks because they’re so careful here.’
The four-bed villa in Pelion has a pool and terraces with views of the mountains and the sea. The beach is only a five-minute walk through an olive grove.
Mr Johnson’s trip shows it could be possible to travel via a third country to get around rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
It is not the first time he has decided to act against government advice on the pandemic.
The 79-year-old (pictured with Georgia Toffolo) arrived in Athens last night to visit his mountain villa
The villa in Pelion has a pool, mountain views – and is just a five-minute walk from sea
Before the lockdown was introduced he suggested he would carry on going to the pub even though over-70s were urged to stay indoors. He said: ‘Of course I’ll go to a pub if I need to go to a pub. The people who run pubs need a little bit of people – they don’t want people to not be in the pub at all.’
The Foreign Office is advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. Its says there are limited travel options between the UK and Greece and no direct flights.
On Tuesday, Greece announced it was extending its ban on UK flights until July 15. The measures will be kept under continuous review, according to the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Under the current rules, Mr Johnson is likely to have to quarantine for 14 days on his return.
The Prime Minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, was at the centre of a lockdown row in May after it was revealed that he drove from London to Durham. Mr Cummings claimed he made the 200-mile journey in order to be close to family who could care for his son.
Despite the rules containing no exceptions to allow Mr Cummings’ trip, the Prime Minister defended his adviser’s actions.