Greece hopes to reopen to tourists as early as July 1

International holidays might sound like an ill-advised idea right now, but come July, the world could look very different. While many countries are suggesting their borders will remain closed for at least another few months, Greece is giving eager international travelers some hope. The Mediterranean country, which enforced a strict and early lockdown, is considered a coronavirus success story, limiting deaths to around 150. This week Greek businesses are starting to reopen, and if all goes according to plan, the prime minister hopes to welcome tourists as soon as July 1.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s prime minister, told CNN, “The tourism experience may be slightly different from what you’ve had in previous years. Maybe no bars may be open, or no tight crowds, but you can still get a fantastic experience in Greece — provided that the global epidemic is on a downward path.”

Although opening the country to tourists inevitably comes with risk, Mitsotakis hopes that extensive testing measures could limit any potential outbreak. Currently, all international travelers must complete a personal health and information form prior to landing. At the Athens airport, travelers have their throats swabbed, and test results for COVID-19 are processed within 12 hours.

If similar precautions are introduced at departure airports, Kyriakos Mitsotakis explains that Greece will feel much more comfortable safer opening up to tourism.

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