The novel coronavirus has put all of our travel plans on hold.
With countries closing off their borders and implementing lockdowns, people have to postpone their original plans of getting away from the humdrum life they live in.
However, there is some good news for all those travel junkies who love going to Europe or novices that are yet to take their first trip there. From 1 July, Greece will greet you with a warm welcome.
The country has proven successful in battling the coronavirus. If things go smoothly at this rate, Greece will allow tourists to enter the nation.
However, there are some conditions.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s Prime Minister, said that a vacation in Greece will be possible only if there is a downward curve amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
He also adds, “The tourism experience this summer may be slightly different from what you’ve had in previous years”.
Currently, citizens of the European Union are allowed to enter for essential visits. Even this is being made possible only if they test negative for potential symptoms upon arriving in Athens, the capital city.
People’s throats get swabbed and evaluated. Most will get results within 12 hours.
The prime minister has said that he wishes this standard program will expand to other European countries, at the very least.
There is, of course, a safety concern that if they open their borders, people who are potentially carrying the coronavirus might enter.
Mitsotakis, however, has faith that the current testing program they conduct can be strengthened to reduce this risk.
He hopes that tourists won’t have to be tested after they arrive, but will be tested before they even got on the plane.
For instance, if Greece allows foreign nationals to enter for non-essential reasons in the future, it’ll only occur if they clear one thing.
They have to be tested as negative in the departure destination, or in other words, the country they’re traveling from.
If things go just as planned, the country is going to focus on smaller activities for tourism. They’ll particularly focus on VIP customers who would choose to stay in boutique hotels.
The luxury customers would also participate in yachting trips or agrotourism. These kinds of intimate excursions would be beneficial for the country’s economy.
By closing down carnival festivities, schools, malls, and so on, Greece was fast to take action and enforce lockdowns.
Visiting pharmacies and grocery stores could only be done by local residents who had registered with the government.
The situation seems to be under control, however.
With strict and early measures, the spread of the coronavirus has been limited – only 2,663 have been affected. Out of these, 147 have died in the country.
Thus, on May 4, the country opened bookstores, salons, and other stores that are non-essential. Followed by basic amenities such as restaurants and parlors opening of May 10th.
Other European countries seem to be showing progress as well. After weeks of lockdown, they’re gradually phasing back to normal.
So, if you were planning for international travel soon after Coronavirus stops showing its effects, then Greece can be something to look forward to.