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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Greece’s Land Borders Will Open to Driving Tourists

THESSALONIKI – Hoping to save tourism as summer looms, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece’s land borders would open over the next few weeks for people in nearby countries who can drive instead of flying, with  international air traffic still not in full force.

Speaking to Macedonia Regional Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas and Mayor Konstantinos Zervas during a visit here, Mitsotakis reiterated his New Democracy’s government tourism plans with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic winding down.

He said a lockdown that was put in place on March 23 to prevent the spread of the virus and has gradually been lifted week-by-week beginning May 4 with more businesses allowed to open would end by June 15 at the latest, with the opening of year-round hotels.

That will be followed by seasonal hotels opening on July 1 with ferry service having already resumed to islands although with half capacity and hygiene protocols in place for the tourist infrastructure and places where people will stay.

The region of Macedonia receives some 10 million tourists a year by road, Tzitzikostas also told Mitsotakis, stressing the area’s dependence on foreign travelers for its cash-starved economy.

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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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