0   Greece ends lockdown and officially opens to visitors with new tourism season

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Greece officially reopened for tourism on Friday 14 May, becoming the latest southern European country to do so.

Greece has launched its tourist season, lifting most remaining restrictions on movement and declaring "we are putting the lockdown behind us".

Although the resorts are still quiet, a few foreign tourists have arrived in Greece and are already enjoying its beaches.

Thomas, a Greek-British man living in the United Kingdom said: "I came back to Greece for holidays and to enjoy the start of the summer. I actually have my first dose of covid vaccine in a week as some friends of mine have already been vaccinated. All this brings a general sense of optimism."

José Miguel, a Spanish tourist said: "I find Greece amazing, it is very recommended. I came for these marvelous beaches and to have a great time with my friends. I can see the country is actually taken the proper measurements so I feel safe."

Although an average of 2,000 daily Covid cases are still being reported, vaccinations are being rolled out.

Greece still has several coronavirus restrictions but residents no longer have to send text messages to a hotline whenever they leave their homes or go shopping, movement is allowed between regions, and a night-time curfew has now been limited to between 00:30 and 05:00.

A fifth of Greece's economy is seen as dependent on the tourism sector and 20% of workers are employed by it.

"We are opening our tourist industry to the world," Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis announced on Thursday evening in front of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion outside Athens.

Visitors from a list of 53 approved countries have to fill in a passenger locator form (PLF) the day before they travel, listing where they are staying and supplying a vaccine certificate, a negative PCR test or a documentation of recent recovery from Covid.

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