Greece to allow some foreign visitors back into the country starting on June 15


Greece says it is ready to reopen the country to some foreign visitors on June 15.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis announced in televised speeches a roadmap to kickstart the country’s tourism sector, which accounts for roughly 20% of Greece's GDP.

On June 15, some international flights will resume, but only to and from Athens International Airport.

In this first stage, only visitors from specific countries with low infection rates will be allowed in. The Greek tourism minister said the list of countries will be published by the end of this month but cited Germany, Israel, Cyprus and countries in the Balkan and Nordic regions as examples.

On July 1, after the first phase has been evaluated, all airports will be open to international travellers from all countries with some potential exceptions for countries with high infection rates.

Visitors will not be required to take a compulsory coronavirus test before entering the country and they will not have to remain in quarantine. Greece, however, retains its ability to subject travellers to sample coronavirus testing once they have arrived.

Some more details: The Greek prime minister announced a 24 billion euro ($26 billion) package to boost the country’s economy and tourism industry. The plan includes, among other measures, lowering the VAT in transport fares from 24% to 13%.

Theoharis said the government will strengthen the health infrastructure and capacity in popular tourism destinations to cover every possible need.