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Greece to accept tourists from 29 countries from mid-June - but Ireland is not on the list

The Greek government imposed an early lockdown, which is credited with limiting the spread of Covid-19.

The Acropolis in Athens
The Acropolis in Athens
Image: Nick Potts/PA Images

Updated May 29th 2020, 7:25 PM

GREECE HAS LISTED 29 countries from where it will accept visitors as of 15 June as the Greek government looks to mitigate some of the financial damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Greek Tourism Ministry said travellers from the permitted countries will be able to enter Greece on direct flights to Athens and to the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The list will be expanded on  1July to include other countries, the ministry said.

The 29 announced today are: Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.

Ireland was not included. 

Visitors arriving from those countries could be subject to sample coronavirus testing, the ministry said.

Greece imposed a lockdown early in its coronavirus outbreak, a move credited with limiting infections.

The country so far has a total of 175 deaths and just over 2,900 confirmed cases.

No cases have been detected on the vast majority of the Greek islands, which are popular vacation spots.

Tourism and related industries make up around 20% of the Greek economy, and the government has been anxious to ensure the tourist season is not lost this year.

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Questioned this evening about why Ireland was not included on the Greek list, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that he wasn’t aware of any communication between Irish and Greek health officials regarding the decision. 

“I can’t honestly tell you what Greece would have used as its criteria,” he said. “I can imagine that the rate of infection will one of the kinds of things countries would take into account in this situation.”

“Our rate of infection might look comparatively high in relation to other countries, but we’re testing at a much higher level. In fact, we have a much higher assurance than many other European countries have about the level of infection we’re experiencing.”

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