Are you sitting at home daydreaming about the next vacation spot you’ll visit to get away from all the chaos consuming the United States right now?
It’s not selfish if you are, we could all use a break from this chaos. In fact, daydreaming about your next vacation is good for your mental health because it gives you something to look forward to.
And while the world still struggles to combat COVID-19, countries are reopening their tourism industry. But if you’re planning to go to this popular European country, you will be denied entry because American tourists are banned… for now.
America is in a bit of a pickle.
Two weeks ago, Americans couldn’t have possibly imagined a scenario that would bring them all out into the streets while a deadly contagion ravaged the world.
But that’s what happened after the tragic death of Minneapolis native George Floyd.
Disregarding the coronavirus, millions of Americans poured out onto the streets to protest Floyd’s death. In fact, millions of people in countries all over the world like France, Germany, England, and Japan have stood in solidarity with those protesting.
However, there are many other countries that look at the current state of America and have decided to close their doors to all Americans.
But it’s not because of the civil unrest, it’s the handling of COVID-19. And amid these protests with yelling, chanting, and coughing – defying social distancing – COVID-19 was already difficult to contain in a country with 330 million people.
One of them is none other than Greece.
The Greek government announced they will welcome international tourists from over 30 different countries. The Greek Tourism Ministry said that anybody from the 30 permitted countries will be able to fly into Athens or Thessaloniki through direct flights.
Greece’s Tourism Ministry said they hoped to approve more countries in the near future, while the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Brazil won’t be reevaluated until at least July.
For tourists who are allowed to enter, Greece has safeguards in place like capacity limits and designating doctors for hotels. The Greek government is also implementing measures that will subject random visitors to mandatory Covid-19 testing.
Many countries are risking reopening to tourists because they are forced to over-rely on it. And considering that summer is now here, these countries can’t afford to lose such a huge part of their economy.
For instance in 2019, 33 million tourists visited Greece and injected $21 billion into its economy. That’s an enormous chunk of money most countries cannot stand to lose.
The coronavirus has presented a vast array of unique challenges for each country. And while it may seem like some countries have handled the spread of COVID-19 better than others, that’s not the whole story. There are certain overlooked nuances to the spread of the virus, not to mention much of COVID-19 still remains a mystery to some of the world’s most-renowned scientists.
America will get through this dual-front crisis, just as we have handled every other challenge thrown our way over the last 230-plus years. We just have to be patient for now, and then be resilient when that time comes.
But it doesn’t really seem like the Greek government is in a position to turn away any potential tourism either.