Sunnier Days: Greece Is Reopening To Tourists For The Summer

The Greek Government has confirmed that Greece will be welcoming tourists this summer with the first international arrivals to be welcomed through Athens Airport from June 15.

The Greek Government has confirmed that Greece will be welcoming tourists this summer with the first international arrivals to be welcomed through Athens Airport from June 15.

Following on from this, direct international flights to the rest of the country’s airports will resume from July 1.

In an address to the country, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said all international arrivals would be subject to sample coronavirus testing.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said a list of countries from which international visitors will be able to enter Greece will be announced before the end of the month.

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He suggested that Balkan and Baltic countries, Germany and regional countries such as Israel and Cyprus will be first on the list to enter Greece.

“The selection will be based on epidemiological criteria as determined by Greece’s committee of experts dealing with the pandemic,” he explained.

Plans are already in place to deal with any potential virus outbreaks at tourist destinations, including a designated doctor for each hotel, special quarantine areas and testing facilities on islands.

Greece has fared quite well during the pandemic compared to many other European countries with only 2,853 recorded cases of the virus and 168 deaths.

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Image: Puk Patrick/Unsplash

The Prime Minister confirmed that in an attempt to make Greece more competitive for tour operators looking to seal package deals in the coming days, transport duties will be lowered from 24% to 13% for the next five months, making boat, plane and bus tickets cheaper during the tourist season.

Taxes on coffee, soft drinks and tickets for open-air cinemas, a mainstay of any Greek summer, will also be slashed.