Greece could ban Britons when it reopens to worldwide tourists in July

A fish restaurant in Greece

A fish restaurant in Greece

To help employees keep their jobs, businesses that have been hardest hit will be allowed to reduce work shifts without laying off employees, Mitsotakis said.

Greece's long-awaited tourist season will begin on June 15 with the opening of seasonal hotels and the arrival of the first foreign visitors, while worldwide flights will begin heading directly for holiday destinations gradually as of July 1, the government said Wednesday.

Mitsotakis stressed that anti-infection protocols will be adhered to but will not overshadow the bright sun or the natural beauties of Greece.

Bulgarians, Israelis and Cypriots are also expected to be on the "white-list", he said last night.

United Kingdom transport secretary Grant Shapps has also floated the idea of "air bridges" connecting certain countries and exempting them from quarantine rules. Around 600 beds will also be specifically set aside for coronavirus care on Greek islands, which attract the most number of tourists. On Wednesday, health authorities announced one new death and 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of dead to 166 and the total confirmed cases to 2,850 in the country of almost 11 million people.

However, the measures have shut down a tourist industry which accounts for around a fifth of the Greek economy - which is still recovering from the 2010s debt crisis.

Lockdown restrictions began to be lifted on 4 May, reversing a wave of shutdowns which followed Greece's first recorded COVID-19 death on 12 March.

The pandemic dashed Greek hopes for strong growth this year.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis
PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses the Greek nation

"Our strength is the certificate of safety, reliability and health that our country has earned".

According to the Greek Tourism Ministry, more than 33 million tourists visited the country past year.

"We will win the economic battle just like we won the health one", Mitsotakis said, warning that the financial impact from the coronavirus would be vast.

Restaurants are scheduled to reopen on Monday after open-air archaeological sites were opened earlier this week and paid beaches over the weekend.

Elsewhere, Italian airline Alitalia said yesterday it would increase its flights by 36 per cent next month.

Greece is set to reopen its borders to global tourists as of July 1, but there is bad news for Britons.

The UK now has recorded 248,293 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

He added that health officials would be conducting coronavirus tests at airports.

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