ATHENS – "From July 1, we will be able to receive foreign visitors, subject to conditions that ensure public health," State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis said late on Thursday in an interview with public broadcaster ERT1.
"Greece is advertised as the absolutely healthy destination," he said.
Asked whether the Greek side is satisfied with the text released by the European Commission on tourism, Gerapetritis replied that Greece had "very active participation" in drafting the document and had presented an explicit position on health protocols and passenger testing when travelling abroad.
Asked whether Greece will also proceed to make bilateral agreements on the arrival of visitors at the same time, the minister replied that "within the limits of EU law, Greece will develop a tourism diplomacy, which will facilitate the arrival of visitors, especially from countries which have not been extensively affected."
Gerapetritis also referred to predictions that the tourism product will see a great reduction, falling to roughly half the level of recent years, but noted that "this does not necessarily affect Greece because – as you are reading in the foreign media – Greece is advertised as the absolutely healthy destination, as a health safety destination, and we will build on that. We still have about 45 days to build up the public health system even more, especially in tourist destinations. I want to reassure our fellow citizens that the government will be tireless in its efforts to build a very substantial public health system on the islands."
Regarding financial issues, the minister reiterated that "our great concern, our most serious problem, is how to secure jobs so that social cohesion is not disrupted and we have a coherent work environment in the post-crisis period."