Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday underlined the importance of tourism cooperation between countries that have recorded very low cases of the coronavirus.
Speaking during a videoconference, chaired by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, with leaders from countries that managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 with success, the Greek PM made a proposal for more frequent discussions to be held among them.
According to Mitsotakis, the discussions would concern the establishment of specific protocols allowing safe travel, as many countries are already considering to open their borders.
The Greek PM later said on twitter: “…An extensive discussion took place regarding tourism, where protocols & ‘safe corridors’ must be agreed upon to allow people to be transported between specific countries.”
Τηλεδιάσκεψη με ηγέτες κρατών που συγκράτησαν με επιτυχία το 1ο κύμα του κορωνοϊού. Εκτεταμένη συζήτηση έγινε για τον τουρισμό, όπου πρέπει να συμφωνηθούν πρωτόκολλα & «ασφαλείς διάδρομοι» που θα επιτρέψουν τη μεταφορά ανθρώπων μεταξύ συγκεκριμένων χωρών. https://t.co/kjBLi31kX9 pic.twitter.com/0DywR3RIFZ
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) May 7, 2020
This was the second round of talks where a tourism cooperation was discussed, following a videoconference held on April 24 between Mitsotakis and the same six leaders: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis. In yesterday’s videoconference, Singapore’s PM, Lee Hsien Loong, was added to the discussion.
According to The Times of Israel, after the videoconference, the office of Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that further “dedicated meetings in the areas of tourism and aviation” would be held between the tourism ministers of the countries. Israel currently bars the entry of all foreigners.
PM Netanyahu said that Israel would be “happy to enter into safe flight agreements”, The Times of Israel said.
After the videoconference, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted:
We also discussed localised containment strategies to halt the spread of #COVID-19 as well as schools, next steps to reopen trade & tourism among safe countries, contact tracing and enhancing scientific cooperation.
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) May 7, 2020
Moreover, during the videoconference, the leaders discussed their plans and strategies for restarting their economies and opening up commercial activities.
The eight leaders also discussed strategies for dealing with a possible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.