Greece has welcomed the European Commission’s guidance on travel and tourism as a first step towards reopening a vital section of the economy in time for the summer season.
The government is gearing up for the next stages of the loosening of the lockdown measures, hoping that it will continue to maintain the support of the Greek public, which is still high according to a new opinion poll.
As Greece enters the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions, there is growing concern in the government about outdoor gatherings drawing scores of people to squares in major cities.
The second phase of easing the lockdown restrictions was launched on Monday, with the Greek government hoping that this will contribute to economic activity picking up again.
The government continues to enjoy strong backing for its handling of the Covid-19 challenge, although concern about the economic impact of the crisis is growing as the public health concerns wane.
New Democracy’s environmental bill passed this week with all 158 votes from the governing majority, after a stormy debate in parliament and a last-minute mobilisation by environmental and civil society groups.
The first major incident of social unrest since Greece’s lockdown was imposed in March, and then relaxed on Monday, occurred on Tuesday night. It came as the government faces pressure from restaurant and café owners to relax restrictions so they can save their businesses.
The Greek government, representatives of the tourism industry and state health authorities are accelerating their planning with a view to rescuing what is left of the summer tourist season from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first stage of relaxing the lockdown imposed in March was launched on Monday, with the government hoping that Covid-19 will not flare up again and that Greece will be in a position to resume normal economic activity in the coming weeks, including welcoming at least some tourists during the summer.
Greek political leaders returned to Parliament on Thursday to debate the national response to the pandemic.