In efforts to reboot its tourism sector, one of the country’s strongest economic drivers, Greek authorities are working feverishly to find ways in the aftermath of Covid-19 (coronavirus) to ensure the safety of travelers as well as of local professionals.
“This is a comprehensive plan that includes all possible measures: on beaches, in swimming pools or at places where breakfast is served, when transported by bus etc,” said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis in an interview to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), referring to extensive measures planned for when the country re-opens to tourism.
Theoharis underlined, however, that policies and regulations are subject to change depending on how Covid-19 research evolves.
The minister reiterated Greece’s proposal for travel in the coronavirus era which included Covid-19 testing 48-72 hours ahead of travel in the country of origin ensuring in this way that travelers are healthy and “already feel safe when they board the plane”.
In this direction, Greece is putting pressure on the European Commission to introduce a Union-wide health protocol that would be respected by all member states and thus enable travel. He stressed however, that if the EU fails to do so, Greece is already exploring the possibility of creating a “safe travel zone” with Israel and Cyprus – all countries with low Covid-19 infection and death rates.
He underlined that being “realistic” for both travelers and tourism stakeholders was a top priority for Greece.
“We want a plan that will guarantee safety but will also be realistic. This combination is important so that everyone is able to feel good and relax,” he told FAZ.
According to Theoharis, Greece is expected to present its action plan in the following days, adding however that if the Greek government is advised by health experts and epidemiologists to wait, “we will… We are planning the summer season on condition that the situation continues to remain under control. We are not going to take unreasonable risks,” he said.