Greece tourism to reopen on June 15, with direct flights from July

Greece tourism

Greece, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, has said June 15 will be the official start date of the tourism season.

While announcing the date in an address to the nation, the Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said the tourist season has been delayed by the global coronavirus pandemic and that direct international flights to the country’s various tourist destinations would resume gradually from July 1.

According to a report in The Guardian, holidaymakers from the UK and other countries would not be quarantined but would have to undergo coronavirus tests, the centre-right leader said in an attempt to allay fears of the virus being brought in from abroad.

As it stands, UK holidaymakers hoping to travel abroad this summer will be subject to a 14-day quarantine on their return under British government plans, though specific details are yet to be announced, the report said.

In a speech highlighting the significance of the tourism sector for the Greek economy, Mitsotakis said: “Sample tests will be conducted on our visitors, and our general health protocols will be adhered to, without them … overshadowing our bright sun or the natural beauties of Greece.”

Mitsotakis , who has addressed Greeks at intervals throughout the public health crisis, spelled out the measures as he unveiled a tourism plan and other steps to rejuvenate the Greek economy.

Previously the prime minister had said that “in the best-case scenario”, Greece would be accepting all tourists from 1 July, but – seeking to capitalise on the country’s unexpectedly successful handling of the pandemic – he announced seasonal hotels could open from June 15.

The first foreign tourists are expected to enter the country by car from neighbouring Balkan states that have also recorded low infection and mortality rates. With Athens keen to attract holidaymakers from Britain, its primary market, tax cuts were also announced.