Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Greece touts for tourists with season to start despite Covid



Greece touts for tourists with season to start despite Covid

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Visitors enjoy a hot springs natural pools on the Greek island of Eubea. Greece is preparing to open borders for local and international tourists on May 15, 2021. AFP

Greece touts for tourists with season to start despite Covid

Greece is keen to see crowds of holiday-makers flooding back to its idyllic islands and has despatched the tourism minister to London to convince one of its biggest markets the country is safe.

Before the pandemic, 3.5 million British holiday-makers visited Greece in 2019 and Harry Theoharis said he will spend three days "promoting" the destination this week.

The United Kingdom has put Greece on its amber travel list for now, meaning British people returning home from Greece face at least five days in quarantine.

Tourism rakes in a as much as a quarter of Greece's annual income and Athens wants to persuade tour operators the country is safe to visit.

Theoharis will meet British junior foreign minister Nigel Adams to push the case for an easing of travel restrictions, a Greek statement said.

He will also have talks with British Airways, EasyJet and Jet2 which, the statement said, "have frequent flights to Greece, which is very important ... proof it's a safe destination".

Athens was one of the first European Union capitals, with Madrid, to back the idea of a vaccination certificate to enable mass travel to resume, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted Monday after talks with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez.

"On May 14, the start of tourism and travel between (Greek) departments is an extremely important step," which coincides with the reopening of museums, said government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni.

Under partial lockdown since November 7, Greece is still recording more than 1,500 Covid-19 infections daily, mostly in Athens, along with dozens of deaths and hospitals are overwhelmed.

But it has since early April been gradually reopening non-essential shops and cafe terraces in a bid to kickstart tourism.

On Monday, all schools were allowed to reopen after six months' closure.

Student and teachers will have to self-test for the virus twice a week.

Nearly a month ago seven days of quarantine was lifted for travellers from the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of