Greece drops quarantine requirement for vaccinated tourists

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Travelers from more than 30 countries can avoid self-isolation if they have been vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19

The tourist hot-spot is taking steps to open up to travelers from abroad. Starting on 19 April, travelers to Greece who have been vaccinated or tested negative for coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival.

Travelers from the EU, US, and UK will also be exempt from the quarantine rule

Travelers from 32 countries who have been vaccinated or tested negative for coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrivalTravelers from 32 countries who have been vaccinated or tested negative for coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival — Shutterstock

Those exempt from the quarantine requirement include passengers coming from the 27 European Union states as well as the US, UK, Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates. Travelers from these countries will be allowed to arrive at airports all over the country without the need to self-isolate.

Dropping the quarantine rule is a good sign for the country that plans to reopen its tourism sector formally in mid-May.

“They are baby steps before the country opens as planned for tourists on 14 May,” a senior tourism ministry official said. “Nine airports will open at the same time that the restriction is lifted.”

“Under the plan, airports will reopen in Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Athens, Thessaloniki and Chania and Heraklion on Crete,” she said.

Around 20 percent of Greece’s GDP is dependent on tourism, with every one in five jobs relying on visitors from abroad. The country is still recovering from almost a decade-long financial crisis that started in 2009. A boost in tourist numbers could give the economy a much-needed push.   

“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 said.

Other countries in Europe welcome vaccinated tourists

A popular beach destination on the Mediterranean, Croatia, is also accepting vaccinated visitors A popular beach destination on the Mediterranean, Croatia, is also accepting vaccinated visitors — Shutterstock

Estonia was among the first European countries to lift the self-isolation requirement for travelers who have received immunization or recently recovered from coronavirus — in other words, those assumed to have acquired immunity against COVID-19.

Croatia, another popular beach destination on the Mediterranean, is the only EU country accepting vaccinated travelers from any country in the world, including the United States

Iceland is also among the countries welcoming visitors. Those able to show proof of vaccination aren’t required to take a coronavirus test before boarding a flight to Iceland. They will still be asked to take a test once they arrive in the country, but if they test negative, no other measures will be necessary.

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