Australians could be living their best life in Greece in as little as two weeks as the Greek Government announces plans to reopen their borders.
In an announcement on Friday, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis announced that tourists from 29 different countries will be welcomed to travel directly to Thessaloniki or Athens from as early as June 15.
“We are opening up, but at the same time we are closely monitoring the situation. Strict health protocols will protect both staff and tourists,” Theoharis said.
“Our aim is to be able to welcome every tourist who has overcome their fear and has the ability to travel to our country.”
Greece will reopen borders to travellers from a total of 29 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan, among others. The UK and the USA were both excluded from the list.
Border restrictions will then be further relaxed from July 1, allowing other countries to visit the nation.
Greece has a relatively low rate of coronavirus infections, with just over 2,900 confirmed cases and only 175 deaths. The low numbers come after the country quickly imposed a strict lockdown in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, thus minimising the spread of infections.
Importantly, no cases have been confirmed on a majority of the Greek Islands, which are hugely popular with international tourists.
The country will reopen to tourists under a sort of “new normal” that will see hotels and resorts operating at a limited capacity, as well as all hotels being required to have an on-site doctor. Visitors could also be subject to sample coronavirus testing upon arrival.
However, Australians will still be required to comply with our own travel restrictions. As it currently stands, Australian residents and citizens can only leave the country if they meet the exemption criteria on the Home Affairs website.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated if and when we’re free to live our best Mamma Mia! lives in Greece.