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Tourists flock to European holiday destinations amid ongoing pandemic

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By John Paul Ging
Tourists flock to European holiday destinations amid ongoing pandemic
Copyright  Harry Nakos/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Tourists have been on the move across Europe in the first big holiday weekend of the summer, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite an upturn in the cases of COVID-19 in Croatia in the last few days, the first major tourist weekend in July has been marked by the increased entry of foreign tourists at all border crossings into the country. It follows the reopening of Croatia to all tourists on July 1st.

People from EU countries can now enter without extenuating circumstances being given, while those travelling from countries outside the EU must show proof of accommodation or their tourist activity. Tourists entering Croatia are being advised to consult the Croatian Government website for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Elsewhere, on the Greek-Bulgarian border, thousands of tourists waited in cars for hours in queues up to 15 kilometers long at the Kulata-Promachonas border checkpoint. 

Congestion at the checkpoint was due to enhanced controls by Greece that required all foreign nationals to complete declarations on their health status concerning COVID-19.

Crowds increased on beaches near Athens following Greece’s opening up. Authorities insisted that strict social distancing measures remained in force for all to follow.

Also in Greece, the father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he was wanting a "quiet time" after being criticised for reportedly travelling via Bulgaria to visit his Greek holiday home and, he claimed, organise it and 'COVID-proof' it for later visitors.

Stanley Johnson has been accused of breaching British Foreign Office guidance to avoid non-essential travel.

Journalist • John Paul Ging