Minister says tourism not responsible for rise of infections


Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias on Tuesday rejected criticism that Greece’s reopening to tourism is partly responsible for the recent jump in coronavirus infections.

“Is tourism responsible for the increase in infections? The answer is categorically no,” Hardalias said. “Greece is not doing worse than other countries. We have reopened tourism without a significant burden on the health system.”

He said 83% of the confirmed cases are domestic and are associated with public gatherings and a lax application of health rules.

Asked why authorities do not report the number of cases on each island, Hardalias said it is done “so that they [the islands] are not targeted,” and dismissed claims that authorities are hiding the real number of infections.

He also said that some travellers are confirmed as Covid-19 positive at their place of residence but tracing leads to areas they visited during their vacation.