Greek PM sees pandemic stabilising, eyes May reopening to tourists

·

Greece should be able to open up for tourists from May 15, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed on Wednesday, saying the coronavirus pandemic was showing signs of stabilising helped by the rollout of vaccines.

“The vaccines, the self-tests and the better weather make us confident that this unprecedented adventure is ending,” Mitsotakis said in a special television address.

The government had previously announced it hoped to allow tourism, a sector accounting for a fifth of total economic output in Greece, to resume from mid-May but a surge in infections had caused increasing concern.

READ MORE: Sydney-born virologist becomes Greece’s coronavirus ‘hero’.

Mitsotakis said case rates were still high and people should not travel over the Orthodox Easter weekend, beginning on April 30, when Greeks traditionally visit their home regions for family gatherings.

“I have said that our aim is for a safe Easter and a free summer. But one cannot undermine the other,” he said.

“That’s why we should not travel at Easter. Athens and other cities still have many COVID cases. Mass movement carries the risk of spreading the virus everywhere.”

Greece emerged from the first wave of the pandemic in better shape than many richer European countries but it has suffered heavily in recent months, with a rapid increase in infections putting a strain on hospitals in Athens and other regions like the northern city of Thessaloniki.

READ MORE: Greece says coronavirus to drive economy into recession.

A waiter wearing a protective face mask waits for customers in a restaurant in Athens, Greece, May 25, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Costas Baltas.

Mitsotakis said the roadmap was dependent on there not being another surge in infections but restaurants should be able to open from May 3 and schools on May 10.

The government began a massive distribution of free home testing kits this month to reopen senior high schools and some services as it is keen to get the situation sufficiently under control before the start of the tourist season on May 15.

Health authorities on Wednesday reported 3,015 daily cases of COVID-19 and 86 deaths. Total cases and deaths have reached 323,644 and 9,713 respectively.

READ MORE: Coronavirus cases in Greece hit quadruple digits as third wave fears grow.

Source: Reuters.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Heliades Women’s Network gather in Melbourne for double celebration

The Hellenic Women’s Network ‘Heliades’ gathered at YASSAS The Greek Way at Southbank, Victoria on Sunday, May 26.

Greek Democritus League’s celebration of workers in Melbourne

The Greek Democritus League held its annual May Day dance on May 18 at White Rose Receptions in Thornbury.

Dimitri Valkanis named on Subway Young Socceroos squad for South American tour

Subway Young Socceroos’ Head Coach, Trevor Morgan has selected a 23-man squad for a tour of South America.

GCM Board meet with President of Tashkent Greek Community

Costas Politis made a short trip to Melbourne, where he gave a seminar and had the opportunity to meet with the Greek Community of Melbourne.

Tsigris family weigh in on energy debate for Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest

The Tsigris family weigh in on the recent energy debate raging in Far North Queensland's Daintree Rainforest.

You May Also Like

Jayden Spakianos pleads guilty to stabbing security guard at SA shopping centre

A Greek teen from SA has pleaded guilty following the aggravated assault of a security guard at the Noarlunga Centre interchange last year.

Greek dancing and food galore in massive turnout at Canberra Greek Glendi

The annual Canberra Greek Glendi was held on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of February, taking place at Garema Place in the city central of Canberra.

‘Green is the New Black’: This is why Chrysovalantou Giamas challenges fast fashion

Chrysovalantou Giamas' major work ‘Green is the New Black’ is currently on display in the SHAPE 2021 Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.