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Greece – advice for UK citizens and businesses

(London Post) Banking controls have now been introduced in Greece alongside bank holidays which are likely to see banks in Greece closed until at least 6 July (inclusive).

What has happened

A decision has been made by the Greek authorities to introduce restrictions on banking facilities and implement bank holidays.

Banks in Greece have now been closed and are likely to remain closed until the Greek government is in a position to re-open them. A referendum is expected to take place on 5 July 2015.

The UK government continues to monitor the situation closely.

What happens next

The Prime Minister has chaired a contingency planning meeting to make sure we are ready to support British tourists and UK nationals – including pensioners – living in Greece, and to protect the British economy and financial system.

The Chancellor has made a statement to the House of Commons, setting out developments so far and the UK’s response.

Travel advice

When travelling outside of the UK, you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card).

Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.

The Greek government is limiting withdrawals using cards issued by banks in Greece to €60 per day per account. At this time, you can continue to withdraw up to your usual limit using a card issued outside Greece, as long as the ATM has been replenished.

The system for paying with debit and credit cards for retail transactions continues to function.

While banks are closed in Greece and some withdrawals are limited, make sure you take sufficient Euros in cash to cover the duration of your stay, emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays. Please take appropriate security precautions against theft.

There are currently no restrictions on taking unspent Euros out of Greece at the end of your stay.

Access further travel advice on Greece

Further information

If you are a business then there are restrictions on payments being transferred out of the Greek banking system. The Department for Business has published guidance for businesses who may be affected.

In addition, HMRC’s ‘Time to Pay’ service will be available to help give breathing space to businesses who are experiencing cash-flow difficulties as a result of events in Greece and HMRC will introduce a dedicated Helpline for those affected.

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