A deputy minister said only four border crossings out of six in northern Greece should open for tourists as the government prepares to ease restrictions on travel, saying the others lack the necessary infrastructure to conduct customs and possible health checks on arriving visitors.
The statement came as a response to the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers, who has called for the opening all border posts to boost tourist arrivals in northern Greece.
Deputy Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Theodoros Karaoglou told state-run news agency ANA-MPA on Tuesday that only Krystallopigi, Evzones, Promachonas and Kipi meet the requirements.
“The hoteliers asked for the opening of two more checkpoints where their is indeed high traffic (Nymfaia and Exohi in the region of Rodopi) but this is not feasible because, in my opinion, in these checkpoints there is no infrastructure for checking, which is why buses and trucks don't pass through there,” he was quoted as saying.
The union is waiting for the final decisions on the opening of the borders noting that approximately 8 million tourists came to Greece by road last year.
It’s position is that visitors and tourists should do the coronavirus test before they reach Greece and said visitors from Balkan countries that have also been successful in limiting the virus should also be allowed in (such as Albania, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria).
The union however expressed concern over whether Kipi – which marks the border with Turkey and from where Greece welcomes hundreds of Turkish visitors – should open now, considering the large number of infections in the country.