Greece is blocking British, American and Italian travelers from visiting the country in June

Greece is blocking British, American and Italian travelers from visiting the country in June
 Flag of Greece (archive)
 Greece may be a major holiday destination this year, but for the British, Americans, and Italians dreaming of going there on vacation will be impossible for a while. Athens has left these countries out of the list of 29, from which Greece will start accepting visitors while trying to mitigate the damage caused by the pandemic to its largest industry: tourism.

Greek officials say travelers from the countries that are not banned will be able to enter Greece starting June 15 and only through the capital's main international airport - Athens - and the country's northern metropolis - Thessaloniki.

The list of 29 countries was compiled after a rigorous review of global airport regulations and the level of COVID-19 infection. While explaining the reasons, Tourism Minister Harris Tehoharis said the so-called list of safe places is part of a plan designed to ensure the safety of both the country and foreign travelers.

He said the Greek government had managed to successfully treat the pandemic by taking drastic blocking measures from the beginning and keeping the recorded levels of infection below 3,000 and the death toll at 175. Among the 29 countries whose citizens will allowed in Greece since June 15, are included some Balkan countries, Israel and even China and Japan. Travelers coming from these places will be checked if they are infected with COVID-19 and will be allowed to rest freely without being required firstly to isolate themselves. Depending on the level of infection change, the list of countries may change before travelers from all over the world are allowed to enter the country starting July 1st.

But as the United States, Britain and Italy are hit hard by the pandemic, health experts like Gikas Magiorkas warn that it could take months beyond July 1 before travelers from those countries are allowed to visit Greece. The British and Americans usually make up the largest number of visitors to Greece, bringing the country billions each year.

Italy, meanwhile, responded by saying the "blacklist" countries were unfairly there and that Italy would not allow itself to be seen and treated as a senior official said, a "leprosy colony".

Despite Greece's efforts to open up tourism, many officials of this kind of industry are reluctant.

Grigoris Tassis, president of the Greek Association of Hotel Owners, says they have not received basic directives from the state, including information on how to treat cases of field infections that may occur.

On the island of Crete, a favorite holiday destination, many large hotel chains have chosen to open only a portion of the facilities and they offer to vacationers. Some studies show that about 65 percent of Greek hotels may go bankrupt if they fail to open this Summer.
Greece is blocking British, American and Italian travelers from visiting the country in June Greece is blocking British, American and Italian travelers from visiting the country in June Sunday, May 31, 2020 Rating: 5
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