Despite supply issues in different countries and regions, the drive to get people vaccinated against coronavirus continues to make progress around the world. Whilst the seemingly never-ending pandemic drags on well past a year in length, more and more incentives to receive the Covid-19 vaccine are becoming apparent. Just this week, Israel and Greece announced that they were set to welcome international travelers once more – providing that they have been vaccinated – joining an ever-growing list of countries that accept vaccinated travelers. Here’s all you need to know about the announcements from these two countries.
Israel To Welcome Vaccinated Tourists – Information for Travelers
Israel’s efforts to vaccinate its population put most other countries to shame. More than half of its population are now vaccinated which, when coupled with those who have had the virus and recovered from it, puts the country close to having achieved “herd immunity”, protecting most of its citizens against Covid-19. As a result, the country is in a strong position to be able to restart international tourism without putting its people in too much danger.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Health made the announcement this week that they are to begin welcoming vaccinated tourists from May 23rd. Whilst full details are to be released next week, we know that the tourism restart will be phased, beginning with a pilot program that would see tour groups enter the country first, before being rolled out to individual travelers based on the success of the pilot.
Regardless of the phase of the program, travelers will still need to take a PCR test prior to boarding a flight to Israel, as well as a serological test upon arrival in Israel that would confirm their vaccinated status. Travelers will arrive at Israel’s largest airport, Ben Gurion Airport, which is close to both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The country is hoping to validate the use of vaccine certificates in order to avoid the need to take a serological test upon arrival. Several different organizations are developing their own versions of vaccine certificates and vaccine passports, expected to be ready by the summer.
Speaking about the decision to allow vaccinated travelers to enter Eyal Carlin, Tourism Commissioner for North America, said:
“We have come so far, and it is for this reason we are adapting this proactive strategy of having a phased opening. 60% of Israel’s population has been vaccinated and with the U.S. and Israel using the same vaccines, we are hopeful that by summer we can open our doors wide and welcome every visitor to Israel who would like to come.”
Greece To Welcome Vaccinated Travelers
A Greek government official announced that the country is to start accepting vaccinated travelers and those who test negative from the US, UK, Serbia, Israel, the UAE and the EU as early as next week, prior to full reopening on May 14th.
“We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14,” a tourism minister is reported as saying. This means that arrivals into Greece from the aforementioned countries will not need to quarantine providing they can prove that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a negative test result. Whilst British travelers are not currently allowed to go on vacation, the news inbound to be welcomed by travel starved American and European travelers.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories