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Theoharis: Open Businesses, Safety Key to See Greek Tourism into New Era

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis

Keeping the tourism economy going and ensuring the health of tourism professionals, visitors and locals are the top priorities for the sector in the upcoming period and as long as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis during the 4th Sustainability Summit organized by The Economist.

Theoharis referred to coordinated EU-wide actions needed in this direction which include the speedy implementation of short-term measures, such as the establishment of common rules on data collected, health indicators on the basis of which restrictions will be set, restrictions (advisories, bans, quarantines), categorization of countries and regions, as well as on the need for open and prompt information between countries.

“The tourism sector in Greece was faced with an unprecedented situation this year,” said Theoharis adding that the main issue now was to maintain the balance between opening up the economy and ensuring health standards are implemented and adhered to.

“Our country may have done exceptionally well in all indicators, but in order for recovery to be possible in the coming years, it is vital to have an agreement on the European Union level,” he said.

Theoharis reiterated Greece’s position during an EU ministers meeting this week which stresses the need for a coherent European approach to travel and tourism in the Covid-19 era.

On Monday, Greece, Malta, Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain signed a declaration for the better coordination between EU states with regard to travel that will focus on facilitating seamless and safe tourism within the EU and the Schengen area.

“Together with the rapid and affordable antibody tests, we can get as close as possible to the previous ‘normality’ and look to the future with greater optimism,” he concluded.

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