“Neither tourism nor tourist arrivals are to blame for the rise of coronavirus cases in Greece,” Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said on Wednesday. He indirectly blamed unvaccinated locals for the resurgence saying ‘”we can not allow deniers of science to lead our country into adventures.”
Theoharis said that based on statistics from checks carried out at the country’s borders, the opening for tourism was careful and well planned and did not cause damage.
“The opening of tourism was done very carefully, in the first 10 days of July just 74 out of 105,609 random samples taken at the country’s entry points were positive just 0.07%,” he noted speaking at a digital online conference of Greek hoteliers.
“The rate of positivity at the land borders was 0.01% while that in airports was 0.09%, the minister added.
“Our country does not have a problem with the opening of its borders. The rise in infections is not related to tourism,” Theoharis stressed as hoteliers are concerned about the course of the tourism season given the new restrictions in restaurants and entertainment venues, including indoor spaces for vaccinated citizens only and the ban of dance and standing customers.
The Greek government is determined to reach at least 50% of the tourists’ arrivals record it reached in 2019, and bets on the vaccination of the local population, even though it allows unvaccinated tourists with negative PCR test.
Yet, the country experiences a pandemic resurgence.
Regarding the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant especially on Crete, the official narrative was broadcast by state ERT TV on Wednesday as “it was not tourists who brought it but Greeks who returned from the UK.”