"This year's tourist season is difficult, but it allows our country to hope, because it has a comparative advantage. That is, we have achieved a substantial and effective response to the overall situation, which gives us the opportunity to tell people who want to come to our country that they can do it and will be safe," Greek Tourist Minister Haris Theocharis said.
"We are examining the 72-hour test for other countries as well," he said.
He went on to say "we give priority to the health and safety of our citizens and of course all those who visit us" and added: "This year, the environment is complex and constantly changing. We want to open with health security, but not all parameters are controlled by us, since we see that countries that long ago had health control, now do not have it."
For now, non-EU countries allowed in Greece are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Regarding the safe restart of tourism, Theocharis said that "so far we have done well and this is something very important, but it is even more important not to be complacent, because it will be a pity to create problems in our success, precisely because we feel we have won the battle and everything is going well."
At the same time, the Minister of Tourism pointed out that "we have succeeded, we have opened, and now we are in a very difficult period, which has to do with the management of people and everyday life, in order to maintain security."
Elsewhere in his speech, the Minister of Tourism noted that "we continue to fight to have a better opening of the borders and we are considering in every way to open for the other countries that we have now closed, with the 72-hour test."
"It will depend," he continued, "if all these measures work, that is, if Promachonas [border crossing with Bulgaria] ceases to be a strong source of cases."
Regarding cruises, Theocharis said that "we make every effort to start cruising in August and if this becomes possible, after the protocols are passed by the competent committee, then in early August we will have the opportunity to welcome cruises, while the first ports where the cruise ships will moor, are expected to be those of the Ionian and Katakolo."
Theocharis also stated that "we focus on the extension of the tourist season, so that those who do not vacation in summer, can holiday in the Fall in our country, hoping of course that the health conditions will allow it."
Finally, as he underlined, "we aim to strengthen the advertising campaign in winter and 12-month tourism."