Greece is starting to lift the restrictions introduced in connection with the epidemic situation. From Sunday, it again invites tourists and officially opens to visitors. The country hopes to put the tourism industry back on its feet after the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Sunday, Greek museums, famous archaeological monuments, including the ancient Acropolis, will reopen, reports Reuters.
“I feel alive again.” “I’m finally here”
“I feel full of life and that’s good because it’s been a long and hard year due to COVID-19,” said Victoria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student. As she explained, she came on vacation from the Czech Republic. “I feel alive again,” she added as she walked near the Roman Forum in Athens.
“I’m finally here,” added Rebecca, a Florida tourist who came to Athens.
From Sunday, foreign tourists who are vaccinated will be admitted to Greece. They may also prove negative for COVID-19. These are also conditions that must be met in order to be able to travel between the Greek islands.
The worst year in the history of tourism
Greece, which is opening up to tourists, also hopes to vaccinate as many citizens as possible. The government says vaccination, rapid testing, as well as warmer weather that allows for outdoor activities will allow you to move safely around the country.
As the pandemic prevented international travel in 2020, Greece experienced its worst year in tourism history, with 7 million visitors compared to a record 33 million in 2019. Tourism revenues fell from EUR 18 billion (PLN 81.5 billion) to EUR 4 billion (PLN 18 billion).
Greece fared better than most of Europe during the first wave of the pandemic, but the surge in infections in 2020 forced it to impose restrictions to protect the healthcare system. There have been 373,881 infections and 11,322 deaths in a country with a population of 11 million.
Lockdown on one island
Greek authorities said the lockdown on Kalymnos was extended for a week on Saturday as coronavirus infections remained high there.
Residents are allowed to leave the house only to open workplaces, to the doctor or pharmacy, to walk with pets or go shopping until 6pm. They can only leave the island for health reasons. Restrictions will be in effect until 6 a.m. on May 24.
Main photo source: BOUGIOTIS EVAGELOS / EPA