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Greece lifts its lockdown on hotels, pools, golf courses

Greece lifted lockdown 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.

A worker wearing a protective mask sprays disinfectant inside a kindergarten in the suburb of Halandri, northern Athens, Friday, May 29, 2020. Greece will reopen preschools, kindergartens and primary schools on Monday in the latest round of easing coronavirus pandemic restrictions imposed in late March. Classes will have no more than 15 children while the academic year will end on Friday, June 26. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

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.

In this Monday, May 25, 2020 photo, medical staff and a coast officer wait for the the last local residents to be tested for coronavirus, on the Aegean Sea island of Folegandros, Greece. Using dinghies, a GPS, and a portable refrigerator, state doctors have launched a COVID-19 testing drive on islands in the Aegean Sea ahead of the holiday season. The first round of testing was completed after trips to the islands of Milos, Kimolos, Folegandros, and Sikinos. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

A passenger wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, stands on the deck of a ferry as it approaches the Aegean Sea island of Serifos, Greece, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Greece restarted regular ferry services to its islands Monday, and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A coast guard officer wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, walks on the dock as a ferry, right, leaves and another one approaches the Aegean Sea island of Milos, Greece, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Greece restarted regular ferry services to its islands Monday, and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A cat walks on fishermen's nets on the Aegean Sea island of Folegandros, Greece, on Monday, May 25, 2020. Greece restarted regular ferry services to its islands Monday, and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

Medical staff of the National Health Organization (EODY) conduct tests for the new coronavirus on the Aegean Sea island of Folegandros, Greece, on Monday, May 25, 2020. EODY and the non-for-profit Organization Symplefsi, organized a two-day mission to perform COVID-19 tests including vulnerable residents on four remote Greek islands. Greece restarted regular ferry services to its islands Monday, and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

Passengers wearing face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus disembark a ferry from Crete at the Piraeus port near Athens, on Monday, May 25, 2020. Greece restarted Monday regular ferry services to the islands as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season.(AP PhotoPetros Giannakouris)