Travelers from 29 countries will be eligible to travel to Greece for non-essential purposes from June 15, after Hellenic authorities decided to open the borders for several EU and non-EU countries in which the rate of infections has decreased.
The Greek Ministry of Tourism announced the decision on May 29, noting that in mid-June flights to and from Athens and Thessaloniki will resume with most of these 29 countries.
“There will be random [Covid-19] tests of foreign tourists and a number of general health protocols will be observed but these will not cast a shadow on their holidays in Greece,” the premier said in a television address outlining measures for lifting a three-month lockdown in the tourism sector that has wiped out one-third of the annual season.
Nationals of the following countries will be eligible to travel to Greece as of June 15: Albania, Australia, Austria, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Finland.
At the same time, the Ministry points out that the list will be expanded by July 1, and the new benefiting countries will be announced in time.
Whereas, as of July 1, airlines will be allowed to resume international flights directly to Greek islands, including flights like Frankfurt to Mykonos, Zurich to Santorini, London to Corfu, etc.
The coronavirus pandemic threatens to ruin Greece’s tourism industry, which is vital to the country’s economy.
Hotels in Greek cities will open on June 1, followed on June 15 by resort hotels on the mainland and islands. International flights to Athens will resume on June 15, while direct flights to holiday destinations will start on July 1. Hotels will be required to have a doctor on call and an operating plan for handling possible coronavirus cases. Every holiday destination will have facilities for self-isolation, while 600 hospital beds for Covid-19 will be available in tourist areas.
To encourage tourism, Greece is also making travel cheaper by temporarily reducing value-added tax (VAT) on all transport – flights, bus journeys and rail travel – to 13% from 24%, Mr Mitsotakis said.
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