Greece lifts its lockdown on hotels, pools, golf courses

A waitress wearing home made protective floral mask and pink gloves serves clients at thematic outdoor cafe, Athens, May 29, 2020, as cafes, bars and restaurants reopen after two-month-long closure aimed at stemming spread of COVID-19. (AFP Photo)

lifted restrictions Monday for hotels, open-air cinemas, golf courses and public swimming pools as the country ramped up preparations for the crucial summer tourism season to start in two weeks. Primary school children also returned to class.

Strict public safety measures have kept Greece's COVID-19 infection rate low. The country has seen only 175 virus-related deaths, according to Health Ministry.

International flights with screening procedures will return to Athens and Greece's second-largest city of Thessaloniki starting on June 15, and will be expanded to the rest of the country on July 1.

Screening for arriving passengers will be based on an assessment by a European Union flight safety authority, with arrivals from low-infection countries being subjected only to random testing.

Year-round hotels were allowed to reopen Monday but many chose to remain closed until closer to the start of the tourism season, citing low bookings.

Other businesses were allowed to restart Monday, including campsites, wedding reception services, tattoo parlors and dating agencies.

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