"Every tourist is welcome. ... This has been a very stressful year for everyone, and the refilling of the batteries is the call of the day," Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said.. "But of course, we will have to wait for the experts, for the international bodies, to say when this is safe to do so,"
"We don't want to put at risk the people that visit us. And, of course, our population," Theoharis told The Associated Press in an interview.
The government imposed a lockdown early in Greece's coronavirus outbreak, a move credited with holding infections to a level considerably lower than many other parts of Europe. Greece had a total of just over 2,900 confirmed cases and 179 deaths as of Tuesday, with no new virus-related deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours. Eleven people remained intubated in intensive care units.
Lockdown restrictions have been gradually eased to the point where life is almost back to normal. But the country is heavily dependent on tourism, and the government has been eager to attract foreign visitors and help shore up the economy, which is only just emerging from a brutal decade-long financial crisis that wiped out a quarter of the GDP
Authorities are now faced with the delicate balancing act of promoting Greece as a safe, attractive destination while ensuring that visitors don't trigger a new outbreak.