Greece Will Allow Australians To Visit When Borders Reopen On June 15
Greece is emerging as one of a few countries in the world to open up for travellers.
Many nations have lost billions of dollars in tourism due to the introduction of nationwide lockdowns and border restrictions to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
However, now that the virus threat is easing, some are poking their heads out to say that they're open for business.
Greece has invited 29 countries to enter either Thessaloniki or Athens from June 15, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan.
The US and UK were left off the list, presumably because their ongoing coronavirus cases and death toll are far higher. Additional countries will be included on the list from July 1.
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.
"Our aim is to be able to welcome every tourist who has overcome their fear and has the ability to travel to our country."
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Other countries included on the list are Albania, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.
Greece introduced a nationwide lockdown early into the pandemic, which contributed to the country only having 175 deaths and a total of 2,900 infections. The majority of the cases have been confined to the mainland, sparing the islands that are popular with Aussie tourists.
Travellers will have to go through security screenings before arriving to ensure they aren't asymptomatic.
It's a great step forward, however Australians will have to wait a little longer than June 15 before they can head overseas.
The Australian government banned people from leaving the country unless they had a valid reason to do so.
Some of the reasons included travelling to seek urgent medical attention that cannot be supplied in Australia, travelling in response to the coronavirus outbreak, for compassionate or humanitarian grounds, going away to conduct critical business or unavoidable personal business.
Considering that isn't expected to change for some time, we can probably pack that suitcase away for a little while longer.
However, it's always fun to know that there's one tourist destination that will be welcoming Australians with open arms when the pandemic eases.
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