The first foreign flight to reach a Greek regional airport since the coronavirus pandemic began on Monday. He carried German workers who helped fight the coronavirus.
German workers who helped fight the new coronavirus arrived on the island of Kos on Monday, the first foreign flight to reach a Greek regional airport since the health crisis broke out.
About 180 people – including medical teams, police and supermarket workers – flew from Hannover and will stay for five days on the eastern Aegean island, the birthplace of the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates, father of medicine.
The trip, organized by TUI, was offered free of charge to workers in Germany to thank them for their contribution during the pandemic. The travelers were selected by the German newspaper Bild after a public nomination process.
The passengers, who wore masks when descending the plane’s stairs, said they were happy to travel to Greece. Dozens later underwent precautionary tests for COVID-19.
“The virus is still there … We have to be careful, follow the rules and manage it together,” said Stephen, one of the passengers, who works as an officer in the German Chancellery.
Regional airports will officially begin operating on July 1.
Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis said he hoped visitors would enjoy a holiday “well deserved for its achievements”.
“The island of Kos, the island of the father of medicine, received Germany’s first plane with 180 crown heroes,” he told Reuters.
Greece, which emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in 2018, relies heavily on tourism for an economic recovery. The sector accounts for about a fifth of its economic production and Germany is one of its main tourist markets.
So far, Greece has managed to contain the spread of the virus to just 3,376 cases, doing better than other European Union countries, mainly due to an early blockade.
TUI said that in the first week of July, it plans 56 flights to destinations in Greece, including Crete and Rhodes.