Greece says no coronavirus tests, no quarantine for tourists this summer

Summer in Greece, maybe the safest place. Tourists will be allowed to enter Greece without taking a coronavirus test or remaining in quarantine when international flights restart on July 1, but health officials will conduct spot tests when required, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said on Wednesday.

Theoharis presented specific measures to revive the battered tourism industry following a televised address by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who unveiled a comprehensive plan to restart the economy.

Flights will initially only land in Athens’ International Airport when services resume on June 15 but will eventually extend to all the airports as of July 1, he said.

The first tourists will be from countries where epidemiological data is encouraging and mentioned the Balkans (Bulgaria) and countries in northern Europe, such as Germany.

Theoharis said authorities will boost the healthcare capacity of several tourist destinations by providing tests and doctors, as well as an operational plan for the handling of possible infections (a hotel doctor, quarantine areas and transfer to a health facility).

Greece reopens to tourists

Hotels, golf courses and public swimming pools have now reopened in Greece, where authorities are ramping up preparations for the crucial summer tourism season.

The Greek government is keen to ensure the season is not lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and that holidaymakers can safely return to the country’s beauty spots. Taxes on airplane and boat tickets have been cut to make prices more attractive.

Tourism accounts for almost one-fifth of the Greek economy, and reopening the industry is vital to the country’s recovery. According to the Tourism Ministry, 350,000 jobs depend directly on tourism, as many as double that number indirectly.

International flights with screening procedures will return to Athens and Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki starting on June 15 and will be expanded to the rest of the country on July 1.

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