Greece hopes to have its tourism industry up and running again in under two months.
As lockdown measures have tentatively begun to ease, our attention is turning decidedly towards the future once more – and with it comes decisions about a much-needed holiday. Though travel plans have been dramatically affected by lockdown, we’re still hopeful about a sunny escape before the year’s end. Which means that the news that Greece is planning to reopen to tourists as soon as July is very welcome indeed.
Though no country in Europe remains untouched by the coronavirus outbreak, Greece has handled their outbreak rather well, with less than 3000 cases and just 146 deaths. A countrywide lockdown was swift to emerge, with mass gatherings cancelled, and schools, restaurants, and cafes all shuttered by March 13, and with the success of these measures, the Greek government is keen to get things moving again – in particular, a lucrative tourism industry.
Speaking to CNN earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed that the country’s “best case scenario” would see the country open for tourists again on July 1. Mitsotakis was quick to admit that the experience would not be exactly the same as a pre-coronavirus trip – and was also contingent on the status of the global epidemic – but expressed hope that tourists would return this summer. Yesterday, the PM addressed the nation to proclaim that the Greek tourist season would begin on June 15, with the opening of seasonal hotels, with international flights to in-demand locations likely to follow in July.
Greece is currently in the process of reopening after their lockdown, with schools and attractions having begun to reopen, and restaurants and cafes looking at a June 1 reopening. Further restrictive measures – such as a 14-day quarantine for all new arrivals, and new health protocols for tourist hotspots (beaches, swimming pools, hotels) – would need to be lifted before tourism could return in earnest, but the summer deadline is a hopeful start. Because really, floating lazily in the Aegean Sea is exactly what I need right now…