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Greece And Israel Set To Officially Reopen For Vaccinated Travelers

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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 And Greece Set To Reopen For Vaccinated Travelers Soon

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.

tel aviv

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.

jerusalem hillside mountains

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.

jerusalem

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.

israel tel aviv

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.”

Israel Not Likely To Reopen For Tourism Until Vaccine

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.

Greece Urges EU To Welcome Vaccine Passports

“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.

Santorini, Greece. Oia, white village with cobbled narrow paths, famous attraction of Greek Cyclades Islands, Aegean Sea.

Read More:

Countries that are allowing vaccinated tourists to visit

Countries that are open to all with no quarantine/testing

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

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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


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James

Friday 16th of April 2021

Shalom to my brothers, but those requirements sound whack though. Vaccination + PCR prior to departure + Antibody on Arrival ???

For what? To get overcharged for a crammy hotel/airbnb in Tel aviv?? Just so you can go out at night and pay $8 for a watered-down beer?

No thank you.

D

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Now that Croatia and Greece are both open, is there a list somewhere of other EU countries that allow Americans in based on presence of the past 14-days in a "safe" country? I'm sure these questions will inevitably pop-up soon.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Malta is really the only one that has been very transparent in stating they will accept third=party passengers as long as they have been in fellow safe EU nations for at least 14 days. Everyone else is still quite vague

Ran

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Happy birthday Israel!

Lena

Thursday 15th of April 2021

It is unacceptable to coerce people to get injected with what is essentially an experimental vaccine in order for them to be able to travel. Countries who adopt “ no jab no travel “ policy should be boycotted as they breach the human rights.

Sam

Thursday 15th of April 2021

@Lena, And please remember: "Rights" are different than "privileges". We do not have the "right" to enter foreign countries. The privilege of entry is subject to whatever rules they choose to impose on foreigners desiring entry.

"Human Rights" are based in the law of each country. "Human Rights" in other countries can and often will be different than the ones you have at home. Not better or worse, just different.

If you choose not to be vaccinated then you are already and automatically choosing to boycott those countries that will require vaccination for entry. This is true for COVID, Yellow Fever, Tuberculosis, HIV, and other diseases with formal medical limitations or vaccinations required for travel to certain areas in the world. This is not new.

Sam

Thursday 15th of April 2021

@Lena, You're welcome to send them a strongly worded memo voicing your displeasure.

In the meantime, this *will* be the new normal for travel - My crystal ball says that politics and optics will drive a staged relaxation of entry rules in most places I want to visit:

1. No entry except for citizens, with very harsh quarantine and testing rules 2. Limited foreigner entry. Expensive hotel quarantines, PCR tests and difficult rules 3. Easy entry for fully-vaccinated, everyone else still stuck at #2 or prohibited 4. Easy entry for everyone once the country reaches ~70% immunity (or more)

Right now most of the world is around #1 or #2. Vaccination status will be the passport to travel in the future.

D

Thursday 15th of April 2021

@Lena,

Some would argue it's unacceptable to have such entitlement and disregard for other host countries allowing tourists to jeopardize their citizens health and hospital infrastructure by not complying with their governing law.

Imran

Thursday 15th of April 2021

People from Pakistan are allowed to enter Greece on tourist visa? With negative PCR test or vaccinated?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 15th of April 2021

right now their plan is to reopen soon for vaccinated travelers, but since it hasn't happened yet, we do not know if it will be available to all countries/passengers worldwide or not. Currently, as of today, travel from Pakistan is not possible