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Greece will Open for Tourism with ‘Five Lines of Defence’ Against Covid-19

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said Greece has set up five lines of defence against the coronavirus (Covid-19) in order to open for tourism safely this year.

“A big part of the safety measures of our plan for the tourism season involve the conditions for the entry of travelers to Greece,” the minister recently said in an interview to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and referred to Greece’s five lines of defence.

First Line of Defence
Entrance will be allowed to travelers that have a certificate stating that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recovered from the the coronavirus or have a negative PCR test result.

Second Line of Defence
Greek authorities will perform sampling tests to tourists arriving to Greece from markets where a high number of Covid-19 positive cases were recently detected. The country’s EVA system will indicate which travelers should be tested upon arrival.

Third Line of Defence
Visitors that test positive for Covid-19 will enter quarantine immediately and then undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for the coronavirus.

Fourth Line of Defence
Greece has a number of general safety rules, which include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, restrictions in restaurants, in buses, during tours, etc.

Fifth Line of Defence
Tourists will be obliged to follow the same rules as the Greeks. If there is a mask obligation for Greek citizens, the same will apply for tourists, whether they have been vaccinated or not.

During the interview, the minister said that the government was putting the vaccination of workers in the Greek tourism sector as a priority. According to Theoharis, tourism workers will be vaccinated immediately after the elderly and high-risk social groups.

Greece is expected to open officially to tourists on May 14. Like last year, all tourism enterprises will follow strict health protocols.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

“We are trying to create clear and specific conditions so that the travel market is able to adapt immediately and easily. For Europe and some markets with a high vaccination rate, we want to open as early as mid-April. The further development of opening to tourism depends on the market and how ready the industry is… The opening does not depend on the demand, which is usually the case, but on when we will be ready,” he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The Greek minister also mentioned that it will be easier to extend Greece’s tourism season this year.

“After September, the problem of vaccination will be solved and there will still be much demand for trips that have not taken place yet. Some will want to come in October or November. Greece is preparing for this,” he said.

Greece will not discriminate against the unvaccinated

The Greek tourism minister also gave an interview to the online version of German newspaper Die Welt and clarified that there will be no obstacles to the free movement of tourists in Greece.

“There will be no discrimination against visitors who have not been vaccinated. All people will be allowed to travel. This was very important for us when Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis suggested the digital vaccination certificate for travel in January,” Theoharis said.

“We want to create a safe environment for our guests. Because anyone who does not feel safe can not relax. We want to treat the people who come to our country as our family,” he added.

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  1. Henry Beutler Reply

    I early opening is no worth as long as you still have closed your tavernas ect

  2. Libby Reply

    All the preparation for opening on 5/14 is for Europeans and not USA Citizens. The current US administration refuses to provide any real electronic proof that an individual has been vaccinated. This is a huge concern for those who want to travel. The administration is excusing their lack of knowledge that it is a”privacy” issue. The CDC cards can be reproduced on a copier. An individual may have recovered from Covid last year, but they could still get it again especially a one of the variances. The vaccines performance is only for 6 months, so if vaccinated in January, February or March and make the trip in September or October – the vaccine has wore off. I want to go and visit family I have not seen in 30 years, but letting everyone go about in Greece from everywhere concerns me as I am immunocompromised. Last year we were all set to go and USA citizens were not aloud to travel, this year there has been no release for travel as of yet. Not sure what the answer is – but there are still major concerns.

  3. Suzanne Kendra Reply

    Will all hotel facilities be available like swimming pools etc from June?

  4. Philip wood Reply

    Greece has got this right …
    I am aiming to go in August
    I can not wait …roda here I come ( get second injection in may )….

  5. Dimitris Reply

    Fantastic news!

  6. Hermann Salberg Reply

    I have a flight from Germany to Athens on 15 April. Will it be possible to fly? If yes: without quarantaine on arrival if I have a negative PCR test?

    • jhonny Reply

      quarantines are lifted if you are fully vaccinated only I think

    • Mila S Reply

      Did you manage to get in? 🙂

  7. Elizabeth Hall Reply

    Like Anna Lee, I’m pleased that the Greek government will open up to nonessential travelers like us. We feel hopeful that we can return to Evvia this summer .
    Liz A. Hall
    Virginia, USA

  8. Peter Ford Reply

    I am booked to come to Greece with my partner at the end of June. We will both have had both vaccines. My question is where do we get a vaccine certificate as the British government are reluctant to give any information about this. Thanks.

    • Dimitris Reply

      No, nothing has been confirmed yet.

    • kathleen donovan Reply

      I am in the US and plan on going on opening day. I have my medical records from my hospital. The cards they give us here from the CDC are a joke. Anyone could forge one.

    • Christopher Wicks Reply

      You have to wait the decision of the UK on this. However this article explains how tavel will be open to all. The bigger question for the UK is not the vaccine certificate but whether they will allow travel outside the UK for holidays. However, my hunch is to be optimistic.

  9. Delyn Veaudry Reply

    Very happy to hear this. . .

  10. Stephen Reply

    This is great news.

    • Chavon Reply

      Will US citizen still have the 7 day quarantine after May? I don’t want yo book and be stuck 1/2the trip.

  11. Vivianne mason Reply

    We have a holiday home in corfu we missed last year fingers crossed we make this year come on boris give us some good news

  12. Anna Lee Spencer Reply

    I am personally delighted to see that the date of May 14th still stands as the for sure date that Americans will be allowed to visit Greece. I have been waiting for months for an announcement from the Greek government. My prayers have been answered. I know that airplane travel will be very different than normal, but I am willing to suffer the inconvenience in order to visit Greece.

    • Jeff Reply

      But does this apply to Americans?

      Doesn’t the EU still have restrictions? Aren’t there onward travel regulations for Americans transiting through EU?

      • jhonny Reply

        i think there are stricter rules for countries outside the Schengen agreement so they might still only be allowed for business or emergencies. hopefully, the solution will change fast having more and more vaccines going around. good luck people stay safe we might just see the end of this soon

    • Yasmine Reply

      Same for me. I’m coming from Canada and I’ve been postponing my travel for 1 year now.

      • Jesse Reply

        I went there in September from Canada and had no issues entering. The gave me a PCR test at the Athens airport and let me go.

    • Lenise Murphy Thomas Reply

      Where did you read Americans are allowed to visit Greece starting May 14th? The US embassy website still reads Americans coming from the US are banned.

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