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PM Mitsotakis Supports Greece‘s Opening to Tourism: ‘We Were Ready‘

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday said that the government did not hastily open its tourism market in the post-Covid-19 era, but did so gradually and in an orderly way.

Speaking in parliament, the Greek PM countered opposition’s allegation that opening to tourism was one of the main reasons for the increase of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Greece.

“The data is relentless and the latest increase in cases is due primarily, not exclusively, but primarily to domestic movement and the relaxing of protection rules and less to foreign visitors… Because the opening of tourism was done with a continuous study of the epidemiological data of each country of origin, and with sample tests at all entry points,” he said.

‘We were ready’

“We opened to tourism when we were ready with a system for controlling and tracking incoming flows. We have created an innovative system,” the PM said, referring to the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

“Other countries have requested to copy and use the system that we followed to take action,” Mitsotakis said, also referring to targeted tests at entry points, identifying coronavirus cases in a timely manner and containing the pandemic by taking local measures.

Providing data on the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases detected at Greece’s entry points, the Greek PM said the figure reached 972 out of a total of 451,908 tests performed on incoming travelers from July 1 to September 6.

Underlining the safety measures followed on airplanes and ferries in the country, PM Mitsotakis brought to parliament’s attention that no employee of any Greek airline or ferry company has contracted Covid-19 while interacting with travelers.

4 million foreign visitors expected this year 

According to the Greek PM, the number of visitors from abroad to Greece this year is expected to reach 4 million, which translates to 4 units of tourism revenue to GDP.

“Our purpose was to save what we could from a tourism year which many considered completely lost. This remains our goal today, as we have entered September, and we expect that we will be able to reach October or November without any unpleasant surprises,” the Greek PM underlined, adding that Greece gave an example of safe accommodation and professionalism, and can capitalize on both in the future.

Six months after the outbreak of the coronavirus, Greece is counting a total of 11,542 recorded cases and 286 deaths.

According to data presented by the PM, Greece is 111th in the world in deaths per million residents, four times below the average amount of deaths on a global level.

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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. kevin hays Reply

    I know that there have been Americans in kefalonia as I have talked to them, they were on holiday but I don’t know how they got there, hope this helps you a little

  2. parwinder singh Reply

    Will they open for all countries

  3. Evdoxia Patsourakis Laines Reply

    My name is Evdoxia Patsourakis Laines and I waiting desperately here in the United States for Greece to allow American tourists in because my Sister, brother in law, my little nephew and my mother and father all live there and I have not seen them in three years. I was supposed to go and see them this past summer but because of covid Americans were banned. The sadness and desperation every day consumes me because I miss them all so much. Please let me know what It will take for me to be able to come with my husband. I will test as many times as you need me to and do whatever it takes. My dad is 84 and I miss him soo much!

    • kevin hays Reply

      There are American tourists in Greece, I was talking to some while in Kefalonia last week, I didn’t ask how they got there but they were certainly on holiday because they told us, don’t give up hope, you may have to fly to another country first rather than directly to Greece, hope that this helps you a little

    • Petros Odissitis Reply

      Why don’t you try to come to see all your dear relatives in Greece by taking a flight, for example, from Canada ?..)))

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