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Greece Reveals Plans To Welcome Brits This Summer If They Pass Coronavirus Test

Greece Reveals Plans To Welcome Brits This Summer If They Pass Coronavirus Test

Greece's tourism minster has revealed that they hope to welcome Brits to holiday there this summer, despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

While travel is very much up in the air at the moment, the country's tourism minister Harry Theoharis has confirmed they are working hard on plans to make travel as safe as possible, and ensure trips goes ahead.

"We have to have new rules for hotels, new rules for beaches, new rules for pools, new rules for breakfast buffets, new rules for tour buses," he told The Guardian.

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"Once measures are relaxed a good month will be required to prepare the ground for the [tourism] engine to get started.

Greece is keen to keep its doors open to the public this summer (Credit: Unsplash)
Greece is keen to keep its doors open to the public this summer (Credit: Unsplash)

"Tour operators are waiting and hoping we can come up with the right rules so that we can start bringing visitors in.

"We have to strike the right balance ... be cautious, tough it out and make the best of it."

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Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, he added: "We want people to come to Greece

"Obviously different European countries are on different parts of the cycle but all of us are starting to think about how to re-start the economic engines - the important part of the plan is how to allow travel and how to do this in a responsible way.

"Of course we will take precautions in terms of the requirements before travelling but also in terms of the way that [people] travel, the way that [people] stay and the beaches - the social distancing rules will apply.

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Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis is keen to continue travel (Credit: PA)
Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis is keen to continue travel (Credit: PA)
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"We have welcomed tourists for more than 50 years and we want to continue showing the kind of hospitality that we're very much known for."

During the radio interview, the travel minister went on to suggest Greece would "very likely" require people to take a coronavirus test before travel.

"We are discussing this with our epidemiologists and it is very likely that we will have some requirements before travelling but of course this will be done so that everyone has a peace of mind when they travel and when they are staying abroad that they will not come in contact with - as much as it's humanly possible - other people infected with the virus," he explained.

The tourism minister went on to confirm that the Athens government was currently in talks with UK tour operators, in the hopes of re-opening island resorts that Brits frequently travel to.

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The country depends on tourism (Credit: Pexels)
The country depends on tourism (Credit: Pexels)

It's not surprising that Greece doesn't want to miss out on holidaymakers this year, seeing as they brought a €18.2 billion cash injection into their economy last year.

Naturally, there are concerns that numbers will rapidly decline, seeing as the travel industry has all but ground to a halt.

While the UK government has not confirmed when it will budge on travel guidance, Home Secretary Priti Patel said yesterday that it remains "under review".

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She told the home affairs select committee that our approach would be informed by advice from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (SAGE) but that they were keeping an eye on when it would be safe to make changes.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Greece, News, holidays, Travel News, Coronavirus, travel

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]