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Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Greece Open to Tourists from June 15 without Covid-19 Tests or Quarantine

Greece’s 2020 tourism season will begin on June 15, the day the country will begin welcoming back flights from abroad, it was announced on Wednesday.

Addressing the public in a televised address to the nation, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the government’s plan to support the economy, employment and tourism in the coming months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The transition from today’s uncertainty to tomorrow’s security is based on three pillars: employment support, tax cuts and boosting entrepreneurship,” he said, adding that the government’s new Covid-19 economic response package adds up to 24 billion euros.

Referring specifically to tourism, the PM said Greece’s 2020 season will begin on June 15, coinciding with the date the country’s seasonal hotels will open their doors. Greece’s year-round hotels will open June 1.

Greece will be welcoming international flights from June 15, initially only at Athens International Airport. From July 1, all Greek airports will be open to flights from abroad.

According to Mitsotakis, Greece’s visitors will undergo sample tests when required and must abide by the country’s general health protocols (to be announced soon), which however “will not cast a shadow over our bright sun or natural beauty”.

It was announced that Greece’s incoming tourists will not need to have a coronavirus test prior to travel nor will they be quarantined after arrival.

Covid-19 and the travel industry

Among the support measures for Greece’s tourism enterprises, the government is giving professionals the opportunity to adjust their employees work hours until the end of October.

The PM underlined that employees working less hours will receive almost their same salary through the new employment support program Syn-ergasia, which will cover most of the difference in payment. The social security benefits of workers will also be covered. Fund for the Syn-ergasia program will come from the EU’s SURE program.

Moreover, for the next five months, the VAT on the country’s transport tickets will be slashed from 24 to 13 percent.

“I know the importance of cheaper travel by bus, ship or plane. And I want those who will vacation here in the summer to be charged as less as possible,” he said.

The VAT on package travel will be also be reduced.

The Greek PM also announced that programs will be launched to support the country’s domestic travelers.

In addition, he added that the VAT on coffee, non-alcoholic drinks and tickets of Greece’s open-air cinemas will be cut.

Mitsotakis said that anything Greece manages to achieve in tourism this year will be considered a success, considering that the sector had hit rock bottom in April and May.

He added that Greece’s weapon against the coronavirus is its well-earned “passport” of safety, reliability and health.

The coronavirus has so far infected 2,850 people in Greece and the death toll has reached 166, still among the lowest among EU member-states.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Gary Williams Reply

    Really hoping that we can enjoy our planned holiday to Crete from the UK in July. Love Greece and hope to support the tourism economy this year, whilst following the rules and guidelines set to remain safe and prevent further infections.

  2. Nitsa Chios Reply

    iI am not sure Greece has taken measures enough to be sure that the virus is contained enough to take a chance to visit. , a great loss to me because i do go to Greece yearly every summer. but this year i will not the ride confinement in the plane is dangerous for so many hours and a few people will not be wearing their masks very essential to safety … i hope we know more about it soon to make a decision ..

  3. Mary Cleere Reply

    Will the Ferries be going from island to island. ?

  4. RIVERAIN TOUR Reply

    Excellent news. We all are happy to know this news. Hope other country will follow Greec.

  5. RIVERAIN TOUR Reply

    Excellent news for whole the world.

  6. Liana kalantzis Reply

    Frightening for us Greeks who have made it well so far!!
    People tend to loosen up and keep their guard down while vacationing. Definitely not supporting this idea. Perhaps if covid tested things could look brighter!

    • Noel Spruce Reply

      I agree with Liana.As a Briton hoping to visit the Greek islands in September, it will be for us visitors from England to respect and uphold Greece’s measures.Lots of Britons love Greece, so let’s respect what they have achieved so far. England is slowly improving, but we can still learn from smaller countries. Stay safe Greek citizens!

  7. Barbara Gardner Reply

    Hopefully Uk residents will also be allowed into Greece. I feel it is really important to support the Greek economy and I would feel very safe social distancing in Stoupa

  8. Anita shaw Reply

    Hi & good morning,,, do you think the UK , will be allowed to fly in to Athens in July/August 2020,, thankyou ,, kind regards,, Anita

  9. JOHN SAMPSON Reply

    WE LOOK FORWARD TO COMING BACK TO GREECE ONCE AGAIN IN SEPTEMBER HAVING HOLIDAY IN GREECE FOR LAST 30 YEARS.

  10. Lorenzo Reply

    Is it true that during the phase one (from June the 15th till July the 1st) will be allowed only flights from some countries and not from all?

  11. George Reply

    Thank you for the information, a nice, simple, compact and comprehensive article.

  12. Lynn Fairweather Reply

    We are coming to zanta on 23 / 08 / 2020 from the UK will we be able still to come x

    • Anastasia Melanarkitis Reply

      It’s great that Greece is allowing holidays again, however Greece is done so well I believe tests should be carried out at least before letting people into hotels and the country. We don’t want Greece to go down again.

  13. Stephen Cronin Reply

    Excellent news. Will the Marinas be open and the restriction upon travelling from one port to another be lifted?

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