Greece to reopen for tourists in June

Greece will open up its borders to tourist from June 15, with direct flights set to start again in July.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said June 15 was the official start date of a tourist season delayed by the global coronavirus pandemic and that direct international flights to the country’s tourist destinations would resume gradually from 1 July.

Visitors would not be quarantined but would have to undergo coronavirus tests.

“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 said.

Transport duties would be lowered from 24 per cent to 13 per cent for the next five months, making boat, plane and bus tickets cheaper during the tourist season.

Tourism minister Harry Theoharis said rebooting the tourist sector was a “very complicated exercise”.

“How do we strike the right balance between protection and how do we preserve the core of the experience, because obviously people go on vacation to be free, carefree, to think about relaxation?” he said.

“And how do we do this keeping our infection numbers low and the strength of our health system [on a level] where it can deal not only with citizens but tourists as well.”