Tourism is officially opening today with mixed feelings. The list of rejected countries will be reviewed every 15 days. New interventions are coming to the “Co-operation”.
However, the restrictions are still many. In this first phase, Greece is basically following EU directives, adopting in addition to the release for Schengen countries the list set in Brussels for third countries. The United States, Britain, Sweden and Russia, among others, are absent, while China is subject to reciprocity – the common opening of borders. Countries that are of particular importance to Greece remain closed, such as Northern Macedonia – a transit point for those coming to Greece by road from Central Europe – and Turkey.
Thus, fatally, the list provokes mixed feelings in the government. On the one hand, it raises satisfaction, as any diplomatic involvement has been avoided if the country has been forced to reach bilateral agreements.
List to be reviewed every 15 days
But on the other hand, it blocks tourists from countries that are considered important for domestic tourism, such as e.g. the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom, as citizens of these countries are considered to be of a higher standard and travel receipts are much higher than those of citizens of other countries – in particular e.g. of the Balkans. Especially since this year, reduced tourist flows are expected from EU countries affected by the pandemic, such as France, Italy and Spain.
The so-called “white” list of third countries from which flights will be allowed will be reviewed every 15 days – at least in the first phase. Thus, any changes that will take place on July 15 are considered particularly critical, while the possibility of not only opening but also closing borders for countries that will deteriorate in terms of their epidemiological profile is always visible.
In any case, beyond that, the time margins are narrowing, as the tourist traffic, even in normal conditions, has been declining since August, as it is not considered a holiday month, as is the case in Greece and in the Mediterranean countries in general.
New business interventions
That is why the government is confident that it will take new steps to support businesses and employees in the field of tourism and related professions. Government officials are anticipating bold decisions, while Kyriakos Mitsotakis may rule out his intentions on Friday from the floor of Parliament, during the “Prime Minister’s Hour” and his answer to Fofi Gennimata’s current question about the economy and Labor – the choice of Mr. Mitsotakis, who also has a strong political tone, seeking to leave Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines and to make his institutional interlocutor at this particular time the president of KINAL, in the middle of the Pappas case (s.s. in the “Prime Minister’s Hour” only the Prime Minister and the questioning leader have the right to speak).
Speaking at yesterday’s cabinet meeting, the prime minister said: “The bar is too low and it will be a very difficult tourist season […]. work, which has been our first inviolable priority since the beginning of the crisis. ”
Thus, one of the measures already being considered by the Ministries of Finance and Labor is the reform of the SYN-ERGASIA program, either by subsidizing contributions at a higher level or with a longer duration of the program.
What is valid from today
- All Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece and, of course, citizens of the EU and the Schengen area (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Ireland) have the right to enter Greece from any country.
- From third countries, permanent residents of Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, South Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Uruguay, Thailand and Tunisia are allowed to enter. China remains pending on the basis of reciprocity, while exceptions will apply to special cases (military, diplomats, seasonal workers, etc.). This avoids the possibility of third-country nationals entering Greece on transit flights from the “white” countries.
- Respectively, flights to all Greek airports are allowed from the EU countries and from the third countries of the “white” list. Flights from Great Britain and Sweden are not allowed – at least until 15/7.
- At the land border, only the outpost of Promachonas (Bulgaria) is “free”. In all other outposts on the border with Albania, Northern Macedonia and Turkey, only crossings are allowed for essential reasons (Greek citizens, traders, seasonal workers, etc.).
- From the sea entrance gates, the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa will be open.