Greece opens to tourists from June 15, but Italy remains outside


Greece will welcome tourists from 29 countries, but not from Italy, starting next June 15th. The measure, also taken to mitigate the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis, in a country where the holiday item contributes 20 percent to GDP, was announced by the Athens Ministry of Tourism.The list will be updated on July 1st, when other countries are likely to be added to the list. According to the ministry, international tourists will be able to enter Greece from Athens and Thessaloniki airports.

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The opening targets citizens of a good part of the EU countries – but Sweden and Spain are also excluded – and those of the neighboring Balkan states; among countries outside Europe, Israel, China and Japan. Therefore, borders open for tourists from Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand , Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Finland.

Greece: from June 15 opens to tourism. But Italy remains outside

Athens. Omonoia square, just renewed

“Our goal is to be able to welcome any tourist who has overcome his own fears and is able to travel across the country,” explained the minister Harry Theoharis. Guests could be buffered.

Among the prevention and safety measures, limitations on the capacity of hotels and resorts. Each facility will make use of a designated doctor, and will have to interact with the Ministry of Health, which has enhanced dedicated healthcare facilities in regional hospitals, including those of numerous islands.

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Greece imposed the lockdown from the first signs of the pandemic, managing to limit its effects. At the moment, the country has recorded just under 3,000 Covid-19 cases with 175 deaths. Certainly also due to the low season, the vast majority of the islands, including the best known ones on the global tourism map, are Covid-free.

“We are opening up, but at the same time we are monitoring the situation closely. Very strict health protocols will protect both tourists and the employees of the places that will host them,” said Theoharis.



Europe, after the virus the risk of travel between quarantines and corridors

The recent “differentiated” openings within the EU have once again sparked controversy in Italy. The president of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia it is very hard on the foreign ministry. “We must get busy – he said – because the idea that we are a leper colony cannot pass,” and added that the fact that (also n. d .r.) nations close to Italy close their borders for fear of Covid is “something that ends up calling into question the quality of health we provide”.

The solicitation to the Farnesina is an attack on the very idea of ​​the corridors. Zaia points the finger at the lack of a community direction on border management. That is the “vulnus: how does Austria decide more than Croatia? Based on what data?”. According to Zaia, there is no parameter that helps to say when, depending on the course of the coronavirus, a nation may not let tourists in. “I refuse to think that we make leopard-like openings at European level”, which, the governor closes, is “scandalous”. Switzerland, which will soon open to other neighboring countries, is also targeted by the President of the Veneto Region.

Greece: from June 15 opens to tourism. But Italy remains outside

Checks at the Brenner border

On the same wavelength, the leader of Fratelli d’Italia, Giorgia Meloni: “European tourist corridors are unacceptable and must be opposed in any way. The bilateral agreements with which Germany and other European states would like to send their tourists to Greece or Croatia, cutting off Italy, are shameful and risk being be the coup de grace for Italian tourism. We speak of a strategic sector of our economy, which represents 13% of the GDP but which the Conte government has completely forgotten “.


Quarantine and corridors, so you will travel to Europe

In the afternoon, however, there are signs of a possible opening to the south by the Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to soften – perhaps – moods. – Austria, which will definitively open the borders with Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland on June 15, is also seeking agreements with other states to allow Austrians to return without the 14 days of quarantine. “The situation in Italy is the most difficult. In any case, we are looking for a solution soon. The details will not be presented before Wednesday,” said the chancellor.

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