Greece reopened to more international flights on Monday as the tourist season formally got under way, with the aim to strike what government spokesman Stelios Petsas described as a delicate balance between an “authentic” travel experience and the safety of visitors.
“Greece is opening its doors to tourism today. Everything is ready. We want Greece to be the safest tourist destination in Europe. This is what the government, businesses and the industry are focusing on,” he said, adding that Greece is welcoming tourists from countries with low coronavirus infection rates.
A total of 28 flights from abroad landed at Athens International Airport (AIA) and two at Makedonia airport in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, yesterday. According to airport officials, procedures ran smoothly and no queues were observed.
The ban on flights from Britain and Turkey will be in effect until June 30.
According to the safety regulations that are in place, passengers landing in Athens from Albania, Belgium, France, Italy, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden will all be tested. Passengers from other European destinations will be randomly tested.
Monday's tests lasted about 45 minutes. “Anyone who chooses to travel during these first days is expecting inspections,” an airline executive told Kathimerini.
All international arrivals will be allowed to all Greek airports as of July 1.
Museums, gyms and spas also reopened on Monday.
Also on Monday, health authorities confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 3,134, while the death toll climbed to 184.