Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and his Serbian counterpart Tatjana Matic have agreed to a closer cooperation aiming to counter the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourist flow between Greece and Serbia.
The two ministers on Monday signed a joint declaration in Belgrade and pledged mutual respect to health measures and compliance to related tourism legislation in each others country.
“In the joint declaration, we pledged to make every effort to find solutions to the problems caused by Covid-19,” Serbia’s tourism minister said to the media.
According to Matic, one of the solutions to ensure the health protection of travelers is the mutual recognition of both countries’ digital Covid-19 health certificates.
On his part, the Greek tourism minister applauded the cooperation between Greece and Serbia to boost tourism activity, “in the fight for the return to normalcy”.
Theoharis underlined that the joint declaration “seals the friendship and understanding” between the two countries.
“We agreed that the return to normalcy is connected with the possibility of people to travel, to enjoy safe and beautiful holidays where they desire,” he told the media.
Greece-Serbia joint declaration
According to the joint declaration, the two ministers will be in constant contact to exchange information with regard to the progress of vaccinations and the latest developments of the epidemiological situation in Greece and Serbia, in order to propose new measures to facilitate travel and tourism, provided that the relevant conditions are met.
“Also, the international obligations and synergies of Greece and Serbia in the field of tourism will be harmonized with the procedures that regulate the entry of tourists in both countries… Any activity that leads to mutual benefit and mutual interest will be encouraged,” the joint statement reads.
Prior to the pandemic, over 1 million Serbs were choosing Greece for their holidays each year.
Minister Theoharis is currently in Serbia on an official visit to lay the groundwork for Greece to welcome back Serbian tourists this year.
How tourists will enter Greece this year
In statements to local media, the Greek tourism minister informed on how holidaymakers can visit Greece this year, in accordance to the Greek government’s plan to reopen to tourism.
“In order to visit our country, one must either be vaccinated, have tested negative test or recovered from the coronavirus,” Theoharis said.
Greek authorities will also conduct random Covid-19 tests at the country’s entrance points through the EVA system, which indicates which travelers should be tested upon arrival.
“Those who test negative will be able to go to their hotel and enjoy their vacation without any additional obligation, following the same rules that apply to every Greek citizen and every guest,” the minister said.
Theoharis added that the Greek Government – is order to assure safety – has prioritized the vaccination of tourism employees, as they will mainly come in contact with tourists.
“This, together with the health protocols, which last year proved to be ‘saviors’, are two fundamental factors for the successful opening of Greek tourism in 2021,” he said.