We will open on May 14, and we will open safely, despite the danger,” Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis has said in the Greek Parliament yesterday, April 6, regarding the government’s plan for the reopening of the tourism sector amid the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic which has affected many European countries.
Throughout his speech in front of Greek MPs, Teocharis said that in order to open doors for international tourists this year safely, the Ministry is implementing a plan that has the following five lines of defence:
Passengers should present either a vaccination document or a negative result of the Coronavirus test upon their arrival.
The activation of the “EVA” random control system at the frontier.
Quarantine hotels so persons can stay self-isolated.
Workers’ vaccinations, which will start as soon as the vaccination of health-vulnerable people is finalized.
Observing that health protocols are being strictly followed.
“Our country’s plan for the opening of tourism is comprehensive,” Greece’s Tourism Minister said while adding that “It is an extremely detailed, balanced plan and allows safe tourism throughout the country.”
Greece’s government continues to keep in place its lockdown restrictions in order to prevent a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections. Still, the country’s authorities believe that the continued vaccine rollout will help restore the tourism sector by mid-May, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Greece has reported 281,570 cases of COVID-19 infection and 8,532 deaths, since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Last month, Greece’s Tourism Minister insisted that, from May 14, the country should welcome all citizens who have taken the vaccine against the Coronavirus disease and those who present a negative result of the COVID-19 test.
Greece is among the first European countries that supported and launched a digital vaccination certificate for persons who have taken the two doses of the vaccine against the disease. The initiative was confirmed by Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.
At the same time, the country’s authorities revealed that they aim to vaccinate most of their citizens by summer to revive the tourism industry and ease the travelling process.
In April last year, SchengenVisainfo.com warned that the COVID-19 test result and vaccination documents would be two main mandatory requirements to enter Schengen Zone territory. Such an announcement was confirmed by an EU official.
However, citizens from North Macedonia, Albania and Turkey will have an easier process when seeking to enter Greece despite the current COVID-19 situation, as the country’s government last month announced that it abolished its restrictions on flights from its three neighbouring countries.
Besides, Greece sought to reach an agreement with Romania in order to facilitate the travel process. Both countries’ authorities held talks to achieve a joint deal by accepting each other’s vaccine documents to increase the number of tourists in both territories.
The ongoing efforts of Greece’s government to restore the tourism sector amid the Coronavirus outbreak have been congratulated by the World Travel and Tourism Council.