Daily Management Review

Greece’s Prime Minister Said Country Is Ready To Welcome Tourists


Greece’s Prime Minister Said Country Is Ready To Welcome Tourists
Greece is "ready to welcome tourists" in complete safety after the coronavirus lockdown, said the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday. He added that the impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry of the country will be significant. 
"Greek tourism is back," said Mitsotakis, two days before the reopening of the tourist season.
Starting Monday, Greece will allow inflow of tourists from about 30 countries by air, sea and land.
"Everything is ready in terms of making sure that we ensure the proper social distancing guidelines, said Mitsotakis, he added that the number one priority of the government is to ensure the safety and health of everyone.
"We want visitors to feel safe. I am not interested in making Greece the number one destination in Europe. I am interested in making Greece the safest destination in Europe."
Covid-19 has killed a total of 183 people in Greece since the spread of the pandemic.
The Greek prime minister repeated about the "success" of his government "in overcoming the first wave of the pandemic" while also visiting the archaeological site of Akrotiri where he hailed "the incredibly diverse cultural heritage" of Greece.
The effect of the confinement and social distancing measures because of the pandemic on the tourism sector would be significant, according to Mitsotakis, because it accounts for almost 25 per cent of the GDP of the country and therefore the tourism sector is to the country’s economy
He however also cautioned that only "a fraction" of the 33 million tourists who visited Greece last year would manage to turn up this year. 
"The honest answer is I don't know what the real impact on the GDP will be," Mitsotakis told a press conference. We'll try to save whatever we can to make sure our sector stays alive ... and can survive what will obviously be a very difficult summer,” he said.
"A lot will depend on how comfortable people feel," he added.
The Greek government is allowing flights from around 30 countries to land at only two airports in the country - Athens and Thessaloniki, starting Monday. Most of the fregional airports, including that of Santorini, are slated got be opened up from July 1st. .
Prior to that date, if any passenger tests positive for Covid-19, he or she will have to agree to a 14-day isolation period in a hotel whose expenses would be paid by the Greek state.
Mitsotakis said that the Greek government is hopeful that all restrictions would be lifted from July and intends to "extend the tourist season". There was no "risk-free approach" to opening up of the tourism sector, he said when asked about possible new outbreaks of coronavirus in Greece.
"We are dealing with a dangerous virus," he said. "It's still here, it hasn't disappeared.
"We are taking an extremely calculated risk," he added, stressing that a new total containment was not "tenable" or "an option".
"We are doing the best that we possibly can."