Greece will open its gates to foreign tourists from 20 countries without tests or quarantine on 15 June, 2020.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke in a televised address, announcing that hotels will open on 15 June and direct international flights will allow visitors from 1 July.
“General health protocols will also be adhered to, without them, however, overshadowing our bright sun or the natural beauties of Greece,” he added.
Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis presented “Restart Tourism”, a package aimed at rebooting travel to and around Greece. He said that foreign tourists would not be required to undergo tests or be placed in mandatory self-isolation, however the Greek government reserves the right for random testing.
“Foreign tourism will start on June 15, where the arrival of visitors from approximately 20 countries will be free,” he said. He referred to “visitors with good epidemiological characteristics, while criteria to be evaluated are: road access, medium flight distance, diaspora communities.”
In opening up the country’s tourism, the government has evaluated all tourist destinations according to risk levels, “low”, “medium” and “high.”
“We enhanced health facilities in tourist destinations with high risk,” Mr Theoharis said.
As a heath precaution, doctors were assigned at tourism destinations in case of an infection. Islands have had additional hospital beds ensured.
Key dates in a roadmap presented by the Greek government include:
25 May: Opening of yachting and domestic travel
1 June: Opening of all-year hotels, camping facilities
15 June: Opening of seasonal hotels and accommodations
15 June: Opening of Athens International Airport with flights from all countries with good epidemiological data.
1 July: Opening of all Greek regional airports also in tourist destinations.
The country’s health authorities announced one new coronavirus-related death on Wednesday and ten new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 166 and infections to 2,850.
The Greek Prime Minister said that the country had been “an example to follow in the handling of the health crisis”.
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AEGEAN RESTORES FLIGHTS
The announcement for the opening of Greece’s tourism came two days after Aegean Airlines said it is ready to restore its network to European destinations. The first flights will begin to and from Athens over the coming days, with low frequency, initially to Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva and Zurich. The airline will also increase the frequency of flights to Brussels which had not stopped during the period of COVID-19 travel restrictions to Greece.
In a letter to customers, AEGEAN CEO Dimitris Gerogiannis said that other destinations would follow.
Domestic flights have already started following the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions in Greece.