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Greece opens for international tourists in July – and cuts VAT on transport and coffee

Greece opens for international tourists in July – and cuts VAT on transport and coffee

As the race between southern European nations to attract summer tourists gathers pace, the Greek prime minister has announced international visitors will be welcomed from 1 July – with lower fares on public transport and cheaper coffee.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the domestic tourism season will begin on 15 June, with the first international holiday flights touching down 16 days later.

The news service Ekathimerini.com reported that passengers will be subject to random coronavirus tests at the airport.

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At present anyone arriving in Greece from abroad must go into 14 days’ self-isolation. “This is mandatory, and the authorities will enforce it by prosecution and fines,” warns the Foreign Office.

The quarantine obligation will be lifted in time for the start of international flights.

Mr Mitsotakis said that VAT on public transport and non-alcoholic drinks will be cut from 24 to 13 per cent.

In a normal year, around three million UK visitors – the vast majority of them tourists – travel to Greece.

But British travellers may not initially benefit from the re-opening.

The soon-to-be-imposed self-isolation rules for passengers arriving back in the UK will scupper most holiday trips in June and possibly July.

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Europe emerges from lockdowns across the continent

1/19

Two elderly people chat on a street in Valencia, Spain on 4 May

EPA

2/19

People look at the city from Villa Borghese park in Rome during the first day of Italy's next phase in its coronavirus lockdown

Getty Images

3/19

An elderly couple who has not been outside for nearly two months enjoys the weather as they sit on a bench in a park in Athens on 4 May

AFP via Getty Images

4/19

Henri de Chassey, wearing a protective face mask, kisses his partner Margaux Rebois, who is returning to Paris after spending two months in Brussels on 4 May

REUTERS

5/19

A commuter in protective mask wears gloves at an underground station in Brussels as some companies are allowed to bring workers back to the office

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

6/19

Paralympic swimmer Inigo Llopis prepares to swim in San Sebastian, Spain, for the first time since the lockdown began

Getty Images

7/19

A worker wearing personal protective equipment disinfects a school in Athens as Greece relaxes its nationwide lockdown

REUTERS

8/19

A Spanish National Police officer distributes protective masks in Melilla, Spain, on 4 May

EPA

9/19

An employee poses in front of halfway-cured hams in a factory in Guijuelo, Salamanca, Spain, on 4 May

EPA

10/19

Workers in protective suits disinfect a high school in Athens as Greece moves to reopen schools for final-year students on 11 May

EPA

11/19

A worker disinfects a bus as transport vehicles are disinfected several times a day as part of Belgium's lockdown exit strategy

Belga/AFP via Getty Images

12/19

A worker from Textilia haberdashery in Brussels holds a fabric that can be used to make customised protective face masks as Belgium relaxes its lockdown measures

REUTERS/Yves Herman

13/19

A bride tries on a wedding dress at a bridal shop in Madrid on the first day that some small businesses are allowed to open during Spain's lockdown

REUTERS

14/19

People walk across the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall in central Milan as Italy eases its lockdown

AFP/Getty

15/19

A couple kiss in the Duomo Square in Catania as Italy starts moving out of its lockdown

Reuters

16/19

Mirel Chetan organises the books of the Antonio Machado bookstore in Madrid after 51 days of closure

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

17/19

A couple kiss in front of the sea in Catania as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus disease

ANTONIO PARRINELLO/ REUTERS

18/19

A waiter at Caffe Cracco handles takeaway coffee in Milan on 4 May as Italy starts to ease its lockdown

Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

19/19

A woman holds a yoga posture as she exercises by the Colosseum monument in Rome on the first day of Italy relaxing its lockdown measures

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images

1/19

Two elderly people chat on a street in Valencia, Spain on 4 May

EPA

2/19

People look at the city from Villa Borghese park in Rome during the first day of Italy's next phase in its coronavirus lockdown

Getty Images

3/19

An elderly couple who has not been outside for nearly two months enjoys the weather as they sit on a bench in a park in Athens on 4 May

AFP via Getty Images

4/19

Henri de Chassey, wearing a protective face mask, kisses his partner Margaux Rebois, who is returning to Paris after spending two months in Brussels on 4 May

REUTERS

5/19

A commuter in protective mask wears gloves at an underground station in Brussels as some companies are allowed to bring workers back to the office

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

6/19

Paralympic swimmer Inigo Llopis prepares to swim in San Sebastian, Spain, for the first time since the lockdown began

Getty Images

7/19

A worker wearing personal protective equipment disinfects a school in Athens as Greece relaxes its nationwide lockdown

REUTERS

8/19

A Spanish National Police officer distributes protective masks in Melilla, Spain, on 4 May

EPA

9/19

An employee poses in front of halfway-cured hams in a factory in Guijuelo, Salamanca, Spain, on 4 May

EPA

10/19

Workers in protective suits disinfect a high school in Athens as Greece moves to reopen schools for final-year students on 11 May

EPA

11/19

A worker disinfects a bus as transport vehicles are disinfected several times a day as part of Belgium's lockdown exit strategy

Belga/AFP via Getty Images

12/19

A worker from Textilia haberdashery in Brussels holds a fabric that can be used to make customised protective face masks as Belgium relaxes its lockdown measures

REUTERS/Yves Herman

13/19

A bride tries on a wedding dress at a bridal shop in Madrid on the first day that some small businesses are allowed to open during Spain's lockdown

REUTERS

14/19

People walk across the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall in central Milan as Italy eases its lockdown

AFP/Getty

15/19

A couple kiss in the Duomo Square in Catania as Italy starts moving out of its lockdown

Reuters

16/19

Mirel Chetan organises the books of the Antonio Machado bookstore in Madrid after 51 days of closure

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

17/19

A couple kiss in front of the sea in Catania as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus disease

ANTONIO PARRINELLO/ REUTERS

18/19

A waiter at Caffe Cracco handles takeaway coffee in Milan on 4 May as Italy starts to ease its lockdown

Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

19/19

A woman holds a yoga posture as she exercises by the Colosseum monument in Rome on the first day of Italy relaxing its lockdown measures

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Greek minister of tourism urged the UK to agree to mutual “quarantine immunity”.

On the BBC’s Coronavirus Newscast, Harry Theocharis said: “If we don’t impose quarantine for people coming to Greece from the UK from some day onwards, we would welcome if the UK extended the same thing.”

The UK's quarantine programme was announced by the prime minister on 10 May. The Home Office promises details of the policy will be revealed shortly, with the mandatory self-isolation beginning in June.

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