Greece announced this week that it would be covering the cost of treatment for any tourists who test positive for Covid-19 during their visit.
“Our goal is to ensure the maximum safety for residents and visitors,” said Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas during a press briefing on Monday.
Petsas said Greece was opening up to tourists on June 15 taking “steady and orderly” steps with safety and hygiene rules and protocols in place.
“We expect far fewer incidents – hopefully none – as epidemiological data in European countries from which we expect tourist flows is on a downward trend,” he said.
Petsas went on to note that Greek health experts and authorities in collaboration with European and international organizations would be monitoring and reassessing data with regard to the evolution of Covid-19. Based on the feedback, Greece will be opening up to new countries depending on their effectiveness in flattening the curve.
He went on to add that authorities will also be singling out areas where cases may be more likely to occur. Any positive cases will be hosted at specially designated hotels covered by the Greek state.
Greece is following the example of Cyprus, which announced last week that it too would be covering costs to include accommodation, food and drink, and coronavirus treatment for both patients and their families.
Petsas did underline however that Greece would be carrying out random Covid-19 testing as of June 15, when it opens to international travel, and has already enhanced health infrastructure on the islands.
Meanwhile, the Greek government has made it a priority to restart tourism, which is a main driver of the economy.
In this direction, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday met with the government’s Covid-19 crisis team, health, tourism and civil protection ministers, as well as emergency ambulance services to discuss the implementation of health protocols and actions to ensure the safety of islanders, travelers and employees in tourism as well as ways to address promptly and effectively any potential cases of Covid-19.
There are currently 470 beds on the islands and authorities are aiming to increase the capacity to 650 beds as well as boost healthcare staff by the beginning of July.