Greece is opening its borders almost a month ahead of schedule (May 14), and as of yesteerday, allows vaccinated tourists or anyone testing negative for COVID-19 to visit the country with no quarantine required. Some of the countries allowed entry are the United States, Britain, Israel, Serbia, the UAE and the 27 countries of the European Union.
Greece is taking preliminary steps towards the official opening of its crucial tourism sector, and repeals the mandatory quarantine for tourists from 32 countries, as long as they provide vaccination credentials or a negative corona test. The new regulatiions went into effect yesterday, April 19, at nine airports around Greece and the islands.
“These are preliminary steps before the country opens as planned on May 14,” said a senior official who accompanied Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis on a visit to Moscow to discuss bilateral tourism agreements.
“According to the plan, airports will be reopened in Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Athens, Thessaloniki, Chania and Heraklion in Crete,” said the official. “We do not expect tourists to start arriving en masse, but we need to make sure the system is working.”
The new regulations apply to tourists from the 27 EU countries, as well as from Israel, the United States, Britain, Serbia and the UAE, who will not have to go into quarantine upon arrival, provided they are vaccinated or present a negative corona test carried out 72 hours before departure.
As we previously reported, Israeli vaccinated citizens were allowed into Greece as early as March, but not many took advantage of the opportunity in light of the severe restrictions that are still imposed throughout the country.
Greece fared better than the rest of Europe during the pandemic, recording just over 300,000 infected and 9,000 deaths, although in recent weeks it has experienced a significant increase in the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned that it was too early to remove restrictions. “The goal is to safely reach [Orthodox] Easter [May 2], and of course summer,” he told parliament. “The threat is still there, and that is why we are slowly advancing, step by step, week by week, all the while evaluating the epidemiological data with our experts.”