Compared to a lot of holiday hotspots in Europe, Greece has had a relatively low coronavirus case rate. Other European countries such as Spain, Italy and even France have seen hundreds of thousands infected, with thousands more dying. But to this day, Greece has only had just over 2,500 cases of the deadly virus that has sweeping the planet.
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And now, Greece has announced that some of the country’s best tourist destinations will be opening this summer to holidaymakers, including Britons.
State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis told THEMA 104.6 radio station that Greece will be opening to tourists this summer because it is a popular destination with holidaymakers.
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He said: “We are a country that will be open to all, not only because we are the best tourist destination, but because competing destinations are in great difficulty.”
However, he warned that the borders would not open without strict measures in place.
He added: “Negotiations are underway.
“Visitors will come with some sort of certificate.
“We are going to try to reduce any possibility of the virus spreading.”
The possibility of immunity passports or certificates to prove that travellers are not carrying the disease is not past the realms of possibility.
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The travel industry is one of the worst hit industries by the coronavirus, meaning that re-opening borders, airports and kickstarting airport operations is in the industry’s best interests.
But with no vaccine available as-of-yet and no way to completely halt the spread of the deadly virus, governments and experts are trying to find out how people’s lives can return to “normal”, which includes travelling abroad.
An “immunity passport” or certificate of health would allow travellers to prove they are not infected with the virus so that they could successfully travel.
It would also allow international borders to monitor people leaving and entering different countries.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said previously on Question Time that an immunity certificate or bracelet had been considered.
He said: “When the science is good enough to understand the immunity that people have after having had the disease, then we are looking at introducing something like an immunity certificate or maybe a wristband that says ‘I’ve had it and I’m immune and I can’t pass it on and I’m highly unlikely to catch it’.”
However, there is speculation as to whether those who have already caught the virus can catch it again.
Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theoharis has already said that travel can only take place “under specific new rules” in order to help save the tourism industry.
He told The Guardian: “I will be pushing for agreement on a common set of [EU] rules.
“We need them if we are to start moving people from one country to another by road, air or sea.
“Temporary rules that will have to make economic sense. If, for example, you can only fly with 10 people on a plane to be deemed safe then obviously there will be no flight.”
Greece is deemed one of the world’s most visited countries, with its tourism industry contributing to 18 percent of its own GDP.
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