Greece will restart its tourism season on June 15 in a key boost to the economy after the virus lockdown, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday, adding that international flights would resume on July 1.
"The tourism period begins June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen, and direct international flights to our tourist destinations will gradually begin July 1," Mitsotakis said in a televised address.
With Greece suffering fewer than 170 COVID-19 deaths over two months into the pandemic, Mitsotakis said its prompt response to the virus would be a "passport of safety, credibility and health" to attract visitors.
"We will win the economy war just as we won the health battle," Mitsotakis said.
The country, which is still recovering from a decade-long debt crisis, badly needs tourism income that directly and indirectly accounts for over a fifth of its economy.
To attract visitors, tax on all transport will be reduced to 13 percent from 24 percent currently for the coming five months, the premier said.
The Greek finance ministry earlier on Wednesday noted that without support measures for businesses, Greece could face an economic contraction of up to 13 percent.