What Measures Have Been Taken?
Tourists are required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) a day before they travel. If a tourist tests positive for the virus, they will be taken care of in Greece without any charges.
There is also a safety plan, called “Destination Greece | Health First,” launched by the Greek National Tourism Organisation. A video has been published to promote the country’s safety measures so that tourists feel safe, and a microsite with relevant information will be available for tourists.
The UK government has lifted its 14-day quarantine for British citizens who have traveled or are planning on traveling and returning to the UK. Many airlines, such as Ryanair, are putting tickets on sale for low prices to promote traveling for British nationals.
The Current Economic Damage
The pandemic has had a significant impact on Greece since tourism is one of the country’s main industries. The majority of shops and restaurants in popular travel destinations such as Santorini and Mykonos have remained closed due to the low levels of tourists. Central Athens is much quieter now that it is not heaving with tourists, and many businesses in tourist areas such as Plaka have remained closed.
Greece has received global recognition for its preventative measures and overall control over the pandemic. However, the lack of tourists during the summer season could lead the country into an economic crisis with high unemployment rates. The younger generations, who usually take advantage of working on Greek islands during the tourism season, do not have the same opportunity this year, which means that they will seek jobs elsewhere.
Domestic and International Greek Travel
While the Greek tourism minister hopes for a boost in travel from international travelers, many locals are also traveling domestically. Major airlines such as Aegean Airlines have slashed domestic travel prices, a move that many locals have taken advantage of. Others still remain cautious of unnecessary travel. Some Greek locals are traveling back to their local villages or Greek islands by the mainland to take advantage of the country now that is less populated with tourists.
The European Union has lifted its travel ban on 15 countries, including Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Thailand. While most European countries cannot enter countries like Japan, there is hope that there will be international tourists arriving in destinations such as Greece. During all flights, travelers are required to wear masks and gloves as protective gear; no matter how long the flight will be.
What Does the Future Hold?
With the hope that tourism will go back to normal in Greece, the country remains positive and open to visitors. The pandemic has turned off many international travelers and tourists, despite lifting restrictions.
However, if Greece experiences an increase in tourism, especially from British nationals, it will strengthen its economy and help local businesses reopen for the season. Until then, the circumstances are uncertain for both locals and international travelers regarding movement and traveling.