Greece confirms tourists allowed in from 14 May

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
Athens, Greece (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Athens, Greece (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Greece has confirmed its plan to reopen to tourists from 14 May.

The Greek tourism minister, Haris Theocharis, announced the country’s commitment to opening its borders in parliament on 6 April.

He outlined five “lines of defence” that would ensure the risk was low for residents and visitors alike, reports ekathimerini.com.

One is the prerequisite that all arrivals are either fully vaccinated or can present a negative Covid test result; the second is the checking system in place at the country’s airports and borders, where passengers are selected at random to undergo a rapid test.

The third pillar of the plan is to ensure any visitor who tests positive for coronavirus is isolated in a quarantine hotel, while the fourth measure is the vaccination of all tourism industry workers, who are being prioritised as soon as all those in the most vulnerable categories have been jabbed.

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Lastly, the continued strict adherence to health protocols, such as social distancing and mask wearing, will be instrumental to the country’s safe reopening, said Mr Theocharis.

He said that visitors would be subject to exactly the same rules as Greek citizens, saying: “We make no discrimination.”

“The whole country is safe,” added the minister.

Greece is among a number of European countries that have announced dates for the permitted return of British tourists.

Portugal has said it will welcome travellers from 17 May; Cyprus has announced that British nationals who have been vaccinated can enter the country without needing to quarantine or present a negative Covid test from 1 May; and Spain has said it hopes to roll out a vaccine passport scheme by 19 May.

International leisure travel from the UK is currently illegal; only those with permitted “essential” reasons may venture abroad.

According to the government’s roadmap, the earliest date the ban could be lifted is 17 May – although it has since said, “We are not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume” on that date.