Greece plans to lift quarantine restrictions from next week for travelers from over 30 countries who have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19, according to officials.
Travelers from the 27-member European Union, United States, Serbia, Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United Kingdom will no longer be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival, as long as they prove they have received two doses of the vaccine or show a negative test carried out 72 hours before their arrival, officials said.
The plan to lift the restrictions is expected to come into effect on April 19, as the country prepares to formally reopen its tourism sector from the middle of May.
“They are baby steps before the country opens as planned for tourists on May 14,” senior tourism ministry official said, as quoted by British news website The Guardian.
The official also said that nine airports will open once the restriction is lifted to allow passengers to travel to popular destinations.
“Under the plan, airports will reopen in Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Athens, Thessaloniki and Chania and Heraklion on Crete,” the official said.
“We’re not expecting tourists to start arriving en masse, but the system needs to be tested. It can’t be switched on, in one go, overnight,” the official further said.
Officials also said that tourists would still be subjected to local lockdown restrictions.
Under the current restrictions, all travelers arriving in Greece are required to test negative for the virus and to undergo quarantine for seven days. A second test is also required for travelers from Britain and the UAE.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Greece has recorded 304,184 cases and 9,135 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
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