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Mykonos, Rhodes Welcome First Foreign Flights as Greece Reopens

Greece reopens
The first flights from abroad have touched down on Mykonos. Credit: Dinkum, CC0/Wikipedia Commons

The first flights from abroad touched down on Greece’s Mykonos and Rhodes on Wednesday and Thursday as the country officially reopens up to tourism on Friday.

The first flight to Mykonos from abroad this season landed on Wednesday afternoon, inaugurating this year’s tourist season on the island.

It was an Edelweiss Air flight from Zurich, with 50 passengers, including families with children.

Mykonos Live TV was at the newly-refurbished airport. The tourists, all wearing face masks, said they are happy to visit Mykonos adding they feel safe on the island.

Τhe tourist season on the Aegean island of Rhodes was officially launched on Thursday with the arrival of the first tourists from Israel, while nine flights, seven of them from Israel, are expected to land on the island during the day.

According to the island’s tourism sector, things are expected to go better in the coming weeks.

The first two flights arrived early in the morning from Israel while another five from Israel, one from Paris and one from Brussels, are due to arrive during the course of the day.

In a statement, the regional governor of the Southern Aegean, Giorgos Hatzimarkos, expressed his satisfaction at the opening and his wishes for a good tourist season, stating that “a mature tourism destination is the one that inspires trust in its visitors. We successfully brought tourists in 2020 and we will also achieve this in 2021.”

Greece reopens on Friday

Greece will do away with most of its existing lockdown restrictions, including those prohibiting travel between regions, on May 14, as it reopens to the world.

On Wednesday, the Greek government announced that it would lift the current ban on travel between regions this Friday. It will also do away with the rule stipulating that all citizens must send an SMS to be allowed to leave the house for any reason at that time.

Starting on June 1, the European green vaccination certificate will go into operation implementing a proposal put forward by Greece, to facilitate travel for those who have been vaccinated or have a negative test.

Moreover, targeted random testing of arrivals at the entrance gateways into Greece using the advanced EVA algorithm, based on the epidemiological burden of the country of origin of each visitor, will continue.

Regarding the green digital certificate, anyone wishing to travel to and from the islands (with the exception of Lefkada and Evia), either by boat or by air, must have a vaccination certificate when booking their ticket (14 days after the second dose), or else a negative 72-hour pcr test, 24-hour rapid test or 24-hour self test.

Airlines and shipping companies will be responsible for carrying out the checks. All domestic and foreign travelers over five years will be obliged to take the test.

In detail, the declaration of self tests should be made on the platform while those who attend public and private facilities for PCR or rapid antigen test should request a digital certificate with the result of the test.

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