Hardalias: Checks at Borders, Airports Continue as Greece Opens Island Travel on May 25

ATHENS – The gradual rollback of strict measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic is unfolding well, with few issues so far, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said on Tuesday, during the thrice-weekly live briefing on developments in Greece.

He reminded the public that restaurants will open on May 25 (Monday), the same day travel to and from Greek islands will be allowed under conditions. A decision on whether grade schools will open on June 1 will be announced on Monday, he added.

In addition, he said checks at the Athens International Airport (the where flights from abroad are currently obliged to land) were stringent both for merchandise going through customs and for arrivals in Greece. He noted that a total of 46,000 people had entered Greece as of the start of the outbreak in the country.

The quarantine rule on incoming flights remains until May 31, Hardalias reiterated, adding that as of the present and of the total 46,000 above, 3,389 people are still waiting out the 14-day quarantine after testing positive to the virus.

Between May 8 and 18, the minister noted, 45 flights arrived, bringing 3,332 people to Greece. There were only 10 infected people on these flights, while a Lufthansa flight that arrived on Monday had 196 passengers – most of them from overseas transit flights – none of whom tested positive.

"Our efforts have been recognized internationally," Hardalias said, thanks to the public's observance of the measures, and "Greece has become an example." He said this did not mean vigilance should be relaxed "for any reason."


The Greek tourism market is seeing a remarkable recovery and while it is most obvious in Athens – that’s where the media is – the powerful signs include the packed ferries and planes that connect with the islands of the South Aegean, with their iconic whitewashed houses that are what most people outside Greece think about when they contemplate visiting.

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