It seems like Australia is one of the countries that Greece and other European countries have asked to join a global travel bubble. It would require approval from the Australian Government and of course State Government who still have border restrictions and a lifting of the current 14 day quarantine imposed on overseas travellers. The date anticipated is June 15th 2020 and is part of the country’s “Restart Tourism” plan.
Greek Tourism Minister, Harry Theoharis said “We are opening up, but at the same time we are closely monitoring the situation. Strict health protocols will protect both staff and tourists and our aim is to be able to welcome every tourist who has overcome their fear and has the ability to travel to our country”. From June 15 there are 29 countries which Greece will accept visitors from Australia, North Macedonia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Cyprus, Lebanon, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Croatia, Latvia, New Zealand, Malta, Norway, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Finland.
The ministry has advised that the list is expected to expand on July 1. Travellers will enter Greece on direct flights to Athens and to the northern city of Thessaloniki. Greece has reported a total of 175 deaths from Covid19 and 2,900 confirmed cases. No cases have been detected on the majority of the Greek islands which are very popular vacation areas.
Greece moved early on a nationwide lockdown which has helped contain the coronavirus outbreak. Safety measure will be in place which includes capacity limits at resorts and hotels with each hotel having a designated doctor on call.
It will be a requirement for visitors arriving into Greece to undergo a ‘sampling’ coronavirus test. Mr Theoharis also said “We are opening up, but at the same time we are closely monitoring the situation. Strict health protocols will protect both staff and tourists”. The government is anxious to ensure that the tourist season still goes ahead this year as related industries make up about 20% of the Greek economy.
Australia is considering a reopening of international travel that will be staged and will begin with a trans-Tasman bubble to New Zealand and other pacific Islands. But until this all happens, Australians are prohibited from flying overseas unless they qualify on the grounds of essential travel for an exemption.