Favourite expat and tourism hubs plan safe corona corridors

Published:  11 May at 6 PM
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Three popular tourist destinations are setting up a ‘corona corridor’ to allow visitors.

For Greece, Cyprus and Israel, tourism is one of the most important revenue generators and is also one of the sectors potentially destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic. Obviously, the lockdowns and quarantines caused by the virus have forced the closure of a huge number of expat and locally-owned hospitality businesses from hotels through restaurants and bars at all levels as well as threatening the failure of low-cost airlines and all-inclusive holiday companies.

Looking ahead to times when viral infections are on the decline, the three countries are planning to open their borders to travellers from countries whose outbreaks are considered as under control. The move is set to allow access to the popular Aegean and Mediterranean islands by early July at the latest and could give a much-needed lifeline to the many expat and local hospitality businesses facing permanent closure due to a lack of customers.

Both Greece and Cyprus are especially vulnerable to the effects of the virus, with one-fifth of Greece’s economy based on tourism and the jobs it creates. Nowadays, it’s a popular destination for young Israelis, with around a million having visited to date. The full details of the tourism corridor have still to be worked out, but won’t involve any isolation periods or quarantines. In addition, the plan seems to coincide with the results of a recent survey which showed a huge number still want to travel but would now prefer closer destinations.

For expatriate businesses in all three countries’ hospitality sectors, the plan might well be a life-saver as well as contributing to each country’s economic survival after the coronavirus panic declines. Needing to be agreed as yet are details such as guidelines and health protocols including medical clearances as well as tracking protocols to be used should an outbreak occur at a resort or hotel. The idea seems to be spreading already, with the Czech Republic, Croatia and Slovakia considering a similar arrangement, whilst Malta’s government is demanding ‘safe corridors’ be established between countries who’ve successfully managed their outbreaks.
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