Travelers will be welcome to visit Greece this summer but social distancing rules will remain in place to keep people safe from coronavirus, Greek tourism minister Harry Theocharis said.
“If we are to think of the possibility of travelling this year it has to be under specific new rules,” says Harry Theoharis, the tourism minister of Greece whose economy is especially dependent on the sector. “We have to have new rules for hotels, new rules for beaches, new rules for pools, new rules for breakfast buffets, new rules for tour buses.”
How the regulations will work, and what they will look like, in Europe at least, will be the focus of talks between EU tourism ministers on Monday. Health and safety measures, including Covid-19 immunity certificates, will be high on the agenda. The possibility of passengers being subject to temperature checks and pre-flight blood tests is also likely to be raised.
As at Wednesday morning, April 29, Greece has 2,566 confirmed cases of the virus, with 577 recovered, and 138 deaths.
“We do want people to come to Greece,” he told BBC Radio.
“Of course we will take precautions in terms of the requirements before travelling but also in terms of the way that we travel, the way that we stay. Social distancing rules will apply.”
”We have welcomed tourists for more than 50 years and we want to continue showing the hospitality that we’re very much known for.”
“Greece is a safe country and in many cases much safer — I’m sorry to say it — than your own country,” he told the BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster.
Theocharis added that he hopes “health technology” will be more advanced to aid safer health practises by the time the summer season starts to allow travels have more safety traveling amidst the pandemic
“It is very likely that we will have some requirements before travelling,” he said, referring to the suggestion that travelers might need to undergo a coronavirus test before being allowed in to Greece.