It’s interesting to see how each country is looking at how it will consider domestic and international tourism in the coming months. The head of the U.S., of course, seems to want to fling the doors wide open, “as soon as yesterday,” even as our numbers for coronavirus continue to spiral upward. Canada is wise enough to continue to keep its border with the U.S. firmly shut at this time. Other countries are looking at all different scenarios, from a few months until sometime next year or, who knows, possibly even longer.
Greece’s Minister of Tourism just announced how they are considering opening up their country.
Harry Theocharis, Greece’s Minister of Tourism, says that Greek authorities are considering introducing a “Coronavirus Health Passport” of sorts that will have proof a visitor doesn’t have coronavirus.
Theocharis spoke to Skai TV (translation of homepage), where he reported that Greece currently plans to have a short, 3-month tourist season this year, which will last from July through September. But he also suggested that if things go well, the “shoulder season” months (October and November) could also potentially open up for tourists.
He said that discussions are underway in the European Union to determine what European citizens who want to travel would have to do. Agreeing to a reliable COVID-19 test to ensure they aren’t positive for the virus is one of the options on the table.
Right now, travel into Greece by non-EU citizens is banned through May 31st. It’s not clear at this point if that ban would continue into June or even the summer tourism season. However Theocharis estimated that tourism to Greece is expected to fall by 50% and added that Greece doesn’t expect any tourists from countries outside Europe. “Not expecting” vs. “not allowing” are two separate things so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The “Coronavirus Health Passport” sounds similar to what we recently reported about what Hong Kong, Beijing, Shangai, South Korea and Taiwan are doing – requiring a blood test upon landing. As we suggested, international travel (or maybe travel in general, short of driving yourself) will require some sort of proof of health. It could be on your phone. As an electronic record. As a “passport,” like what Greece is talking about. But I’m betting something like that is what it will eventually be.
Now if only we could find a test that was both quick and reliable, huh?
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary