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Minister Tells BBC that Greece Set on Opening to Tourists in July

Greece is preparing to gradually open its doors to travelers in July after health experts give the go-ahead and relevant coronavirus (Covid-19) safety protocols are in place, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis speaking to BBC News on Friday.

“In order to salvage most of the season, tourism is a very seasonal activity, we need to aim at some time in July. Now this cannot be with every source country, with every destination, but we have to try to open up with some countries,” said Theoharis in an interview to BBC News presenter Martine Croxall.

Theoharis said the EU must acknowledge the importance and key role of the tourism sector as well as the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and the need to ensure support through financial tools aimed at dealing with “a crisis that is very acute”. He underlined that the impact of the health crisis remains great as Greece relies heavily on its tourism sector.

“Europe is the most developed area in the world with regard to tourism,” said Theoharis, adding that “if the tourism sector is not restarted there can be no lasting economic restart”.

Theoharis was referring to an EU leaders meeting this week and speaking ahead of an EU tourism ministers video conference scheduled for April 27.

The minister referred to Greece’s prompt response to the coronavirus outbreak as well as to its low infection and death rates, noting that it is an EU member state that is successfully dealing with the health crisis through “aggressive” containment measures combined with a far-reaching public awareness campaign.

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  1. mikael persson Reply

    will u open up 1 june
    so we could go back to Symi
    or should we need go to other place this year
    we in south swedeb have not have many sick people and we work all the time

  2. Santorini Dave Reply

    Our team at SantoriniDave.com has been fielding many questions about when and how Greece will reopen to tourists. We encourage our readers to be patient and to keep dreaming and planning with us, so that we all may be ready to visit your beautiful and welcoming country again when it is safe to do so. Cheers from your friends in the U.S. – we wish you good health and a safe and successful reopening!

  3. SMP Reply

    We own a place in the islands and had booked to arrive 13 May. We’d still like to come, but we’re also over 70 and from South Africa. We’ve been in lockdown for 5 weeks! We’ve handled this pandemic very well but people are always nervous of Africa in general. If Aegean flies we’ll book.

  4. Stephen Cronin Reply

    This is of course welcome but I wonder if I will ever see my yacht in Corfu again.

    Factors against this
    1. I live in the UK
    2. I am over 70
    3. Living in a fixed quarantine location on a yacht may not be
    acceptable.
    4. Will I be able to get any sort of document from my doctor which will
    be acceptable.
    5. What about the airlines. If only one third of capacity will be
    available, how can such as Ryanair run a viable service?

    • Ioannis Reply

      Dear Stephen,

      Greetings from sunny Greece. The tourism industry and the airlines are working very hard to ensure that tourism will flourish once again. It certainly is a challenge, but our economy depends on our friends from the UK and abroad, and I am positive you will see your yacht again this summer! We all await to see what measures will be announced soon while we strive for the right balance between safety and the economy. You’ll be happy to know we only had 11 cases of Covid 19 yesterday, and hopefully by the time you come there will be no need to go into quarantine. We’re very thankful that Greece has been relatively untouched by the pandemic and we are already in recovery mode. Looking forward to welcoming you soon!

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