Hoping to lure back tourists, Greece reopens beaches after lockdown

With widely spaced sun loungers and regular disinfection, Greece reopened its organised beaches on Saturday as the popular Mediterranean holiday destination eases COVID-19 curbs in preparation for the return of foreign visitors next week.

Let's take a look:

Welcome back tourists

Tourism accounts for about a fifth of Greece's economy and jobs, and - after the worst year on record for the industry last year - the country can ill afford another lost summer.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Social Distancing check

Under current measures, people managing the beaches, will have to place umbrellas at least four metres (13 feet), carry out regular disinfections and test beach bar employees and other staff for COVID-19.

(Photograph:Reuters)

More tourists equals to better finances

"We're pinning our hopes on tourism," said Nikos Venieris, who manages a sandy beach in the seafront suburb of Alimos, just outside the capital, Athens, where social distancing measures will remain in place.

"We're one of the places along the Athens riviera ... that receives many tourists so the number of visitors from abroad will play a big role in our finances," he added.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Tourists will be safe

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said a combination of widespread testing, immunisation, and the fact that many activities would take place outdoors gave authorities confidence that tourists would be able to visit safely.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Blow off steam

For Greek beach lovers, Saturday's reopening of the country's largest beaches was a chance to let off steam after months of lockdown.

 

(Photograph:Reuters)

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