With widely spaced sun loungers and regular disinfections, Greece reopened its organised beaches on Saturday as the popular Mediterranean holiday destination eases COVID-19 curbs in preparation for the return of foreign visitors next week. Tourism accounts for about a fifth of Greece’s economy and jobs and – after the worst year on record for the industry last year – the country can ill afford another lost summer. “We’re pinning our hopes on tourism,” said Nikos Venieris, who manages a sandy beach in the seafront suburb of Alimos, just outside the capital, Athens, where social distancing measures will remain in place. “We’re one of the places along the Athens riviera that receives many tourists so the number of visitors from abroad will play a big role in our finances,” he added. Under current measures, beach managers like Venieris will have to place umbrellas at least four metres, carry out regular disinfections and test beach bar employees and other staff for COVID-19.