Ending days of speculation and countless media reports about lists of nations whose citizens will be allowed to enter Greece when the country officially opens to tourists on July 1, Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said in TV interview that there are no lists… yet.
In response to the question specifically about the lists of nations, Haris Theoharis stated that “there are no lists” and explained that each nation would be reviewed based on their current epidemiological data with regards to COVID-19 infection rates.
Theoharis said the criteria which will determine which nations receive approval comes from Greece’s health experts and doctors who have managed the pandemic.
By the end of May, the tourism ministry will release a separate list of “phase one” countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter Greece beginning on June 15.
Various media have speculated and announced certain “lists” of nations but none of these lists have been substantiated from an official government source as of yet.
Skai News in Greece mentioned 19 countries during its evening broadcast of May 19. Their list included countries such as China but excluded Germany.
Skai News reported an “approved list” of the following 19 countries: Cyprus, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The mention of China in Skai News’ report generated negative comments on social media. Dozens of users commented about the country’s “untrustworthy” data which it shared with the World Health Organization. The users also mentioned Greek health authorities’ inability to determine the status of countries such as China whose data has generated skepticism from experts.
Another source, Capital.gr, claimed in a report that a list of 20 countries has been submitted for review by Greece’s health officials. The officials will review the list based on each country’s infection and death rates.
Unlike Skai News’ list, the list on Capital.gr does include Germany. Their list includes Germany, Cyprus, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, North Macedonia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Adding to the confusion, state-run ERT News published shorter list of countries in its evening news on May 21. This list includes countries from which flight passengers would be allowed to enter Greece during the country’s first phase of re-opening. The list included Cyprus, Israel, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Hungary and Albania.
These disparate reports were picked up and republished as factual by various news portals, including many that serve diaspora communities worldwide. The reports did not include official sources, further adding to confusion.
NOTE: The Pappas Post will only publish additional information after receiving official notifications from the Greek government. This remains our policy with such sensitive information which directly affects people’s travel plans. We emailed the press office at the Greek National Tourist Organization for clarification but have not received a response.
Theoharis’ interview on Skai TV is below, beginning at 4:49 with the question about the list of nations.
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