Covid-19 in Greece

COVID-19 in Greece: Closing business to Suspension of Flights

by Salsabila Nasution
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COVID-19 in Greece is bringing the country back to the edge of the cliff. After Ten Years of trying to fix and re-build their economy, Greece is now in another level of danger. That is because the country has to go under lockdown to protect its citizens from the rapid spread of the virus. On the other hand, lockdown will cause a collapsing economy and unemployed citizens. When the economy is shutting down, the government still needs to prioritize health sectors as safety is very much at risk.

COVID-19 in Greece: Ruin Tourism Sectors

Greece is one of the most visited countries in Europe after France. Needless to say, Greece owns some of the most famous tourist destinations such as Santorini and its capital city of Athens. The country also has a Mediterranean climate which makes summer very attractive for tourists living in a mostly cold climate. That makes the beaches in Greece always crowded with people sunbathing and chilling. Not only that, but the country is also famous for its historical richness. One of them is the city of Pella, which is the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Other than that, the country also accepts the LGBTQ community visitors such as in Lesbos island. No wonder that Greece was voted as the Chinese people’s number one choice as a tourist destination. In November 2016, Austria, like China, announced that Greece was the favorite tourist destination for its citizens.

Covid19 in Greece
Athens, the capital city of Greece looks empty from people

The country announced the implementation of Lockdown back on the 26th of March. This measure was right considering the neighboring countries such as Italy and Spain were suffering from high infections rate. But Lockdown will mean the collapse of the economy. Tourism Sectors count as much as 25% of the country’s GDP.  In a country where 1 in 5 jobs is linked to tourism, COVID-19 is exacting huge financial losses. The resorts, restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars owners suffer the most loss since they have to close down all of their businesses. It is usually very easy to spot tourists with a hat and sunglasses walking around with cameras around their neck. Now, it is impossible to find one outside.

Covid-19 in Greece
Athens resembles a ghost town

Government Harsh Measures: Ban All Flights

Empty Athens Airport
Athens Airport looks completely empty

In order for Greece to re-open its borders for international tourists, the country has to be completely free from the spread of the virus, which at least will take one full year. The government took harsh measures in order to prevent the country from suffering like Spain and Italy. Therefore, the authorities suspended flights coming from six countries until further notice since March 15. Those countries are Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany. Just a few days ago, the government announced to extend the ban until May 15. The ban excludes flights transporting cargo, sanitary and humanitarian supplies. Also exempt are ferry flights, state, emergency, refueling, and military flights. Greek officials are also extending a temporary ban on the entrance to non-EU nationals except health workers.

Read More: COVID-19 in France: The world’s most visited tourist is now empty

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