For reopening of tourism, Greece eyes May 15th

Published on : Friday, April 23, 2021

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, affirmed that the country should be able to open up for tourists from May 15th, as the pandemic has started showing signs of stabilization with the rollout of vaccines.

“The vaccines, the self-tests and the better weather make us confident that this unprecedented adventure is ending,” Mitsotakis said in a special television address.

The government beforehand had declared that it is hopeful to re-start tourism. It’s a sector that accounts for a fifth of total financial output in Greece, to kick-start from mid-May 2021. In the meantime, a rise in infections had caused increasing concern.

Mitsotakis explained that the rate of cases were still high. People should not travel over the Orthodox Easter weekend, starting on April 30th, when the locals of Greece visit their home regions for family gatherings traditionally.
“I have said that our aim is for a safe Easter, and a free summer,” he said.

From the first wave, Greece came out in a better way than many affluent European countries but recently, it suffered heavily with a speedy rise in infection cases, putting a strain on hospitals in Athens and other regions. Mitsotakis said that the roadmap was dependent on there not being another surge in infections. However, from May 3rd, restaurants should be able to open and schools on May 10th.

The government from April started an expansive distribution of free home testing kits to reopen senior high schools and some services as it is keen to make the situation under control before the start of the tourist season on May 15.

Health authorities on Wednesday reported 3,015 daily cases of COVID-19 and 86 deaths. Total cases and deaths have reached 323,644 and 9,713 respectively.

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