The tourism industry has been hit hard last year due to the pandemic and many European countries have been hoping to reopen their borders to tourist before the summer. If you have been waiting for that European holiday, here’s a great piece of news for you.
While a lot of countries are welcoming only vaccinated tourists, Greece will allow visitors who have been vaccinated, have antibodies, or have tested negative for coronavirus. In short, all you need to travel to Greece is proof of a Covid vaccination or a COVID negative test report.
The country’s tourism minister has recently announced that the Greece will be reopening its borders for tourism on May 14. Additionally, Greece will be forming a 5-step plan to ensure the safety of both the country’s citizens and its visitors.
As per the reports, Greece’s ‘five lines of defence’ strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus after its borders are reopened include the following:
- All visitors will be required to present a COVID-19 test result, or must be fully vaccinated.
- At Greece’s airports and borders, a checking system will be in place where passengers will be selected at random to undergo a rapid test.
- Any traveller that tests positive for Covid will be isolated in a ‘quarantine hotel’.
- All visitors must strictly adhere to all COVID-related safety protocols, which include wearing face masks and maintaining adequate social distancing.
- Everyone related to the tourism industry must be vaccinated. Also, priority needs to be given to the most vulnerable Greek citizens.
It is reported that the Greek Tourism Ministry has already signed a Green Pass agreement with Israel, and is discussing similar agreements with 10 more countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, China, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Greece’s willingness to re-open comes in the wake of the increasing pressure on the government to save its economy. One in five Greeks work in the tourism sector and since tourism had completely taken a backseat last year, the Greek government aims to bring in at least 50% of the 31.3 million people who visited before Covid hit. Once its elderly and vulnerable residents have been vaccinated, Greece will begin inoculating employees in the tourism sector.