The war against Covid-19 has seen many casualties but, at long last, it seems that the tide may finally be turning. Growing rates of inoculation and fewer cases being recorded around the world have sprung cause for hope that travel as we once knew it will return sooner rather than later.
One such country hoping to re-open its borders to the masses is Greece, with the Mediterranean idyll hoping to welcome travelers from all countries to its shores as early as May. Here’s a look at how they plan to do that, along with a reminder of the current travel restriction for the country.
Greece To Re-Open – Information For Travelers
Tourism is a huge income generator for the country of Greece, with the total contributions from the tourism sector responsible for as much as 62 billion euros – or around almost a third of the country’s total GDP. Figures taken from the past few years have also revealed that tourism is responsible for as much as 10% of all jobs in the country. It is hardly surprising, then, that the country has been championing a continent-wide easing of restrictions and looking for ways to kick-start tourism in their own country – and it looks as though they may just have found one.
Speaking at the ITB Berlin tourism fair – the largest tourism fair in the world – Greece’s tourism minister Haris Theoharis announced that the country was aiming to open the country open to tourism from May 14th. According to Theoharis, from this date the country would welcome three types of travelers – those who have been vaccinated, those with antibodies against Covid-19 and those who have tested negative for the virus.
Talking up the policy, Theoharis said: “Please allow me to emphasise that no image could better portray the return to the normality of tourism than the Greek smile, the Greek landscape, the Greek hospitality,” whilst also saying the country was “ready to share the experience of liberation from the unpleasant memories of the pandemic with each and every one of our guests.” The tourist slogan for this seasons is “All you want is Greece.” – a statement that rings true for the million of travel-starved tourists around the world.
Greece is an enormously popular destination for travelers, with more than 30 million making the trip there prior to the pandemic. Germans represent the biggest proportion of travelers to the country, with British travelers the second largest demographic. Greece has been looking at ways it could establish a travel corridor with Britain, with the country already having a similar arrangement with Israel in place.
In order to facilitate a smooth transition back to widespread tourism, Theoharis also revealed that the country was looking to vaccinate employees in the tourism sector once it had finished with the elderly.
Greece’s Current Restrictions and Requirements
As is the case for many countries around the world, entry to Greece is highly restricted at present. Residents of EU+ countries are permitted to enter, as are those from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, UAE and the United Kingdom – but those from other countries may only visit for essential travel.
All passengers must fill out the Passenger Locator Form and must have a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before their flight. All arrivals must quarantine for 7 days at a hotel or their home. Masks are mandatory in public, whilst many cafes, bars and restaurants remain closed.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com