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Greece’s tourism minister explains the three requirements to be able to travel there this summer

Many families will be looking forward to the easing of restrictions this summer so they can take a well-needed break to unwind.

Greece is one of the most popular destinations for those looking for a holiday abroad, with around three million Brits making the trip each year pre-Covid.

On today’s edition of Good Morning Britain (March 18), hosts Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway questioned the Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis on how easy it will be to travel there this summer.

“What’s important is to allow the free flow of tourism,” Mr Theoharis explained.

“I think it’s something that we all need actually, a break from the very difficult conditions we’ve had to endure during this pandemic.
The minister confirmed that his department were in contact with the British government to make travel to the holiday hotspot ‘as easy as possible’ (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“So what we want to do is ensure that people can travel with the minimum possible hassle.

“We have proposed that if someone is vaccinated, then they will not need a negative test.

“So in that respect we would like to have a certificate with a passport.”

The Greek minister explained that while having a ‘vaccine passport’ would make it easier at the border, they won’t be essential.

He added: “It’s not a requirement to be vaccinated in order to travel because not everybody’s able to be vaccinated yet.

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“We’re all following the shortages on jabs et cetera, so we’re saying a negative test, recovery from the illness so antibodies that way, or vaccination, are the three preconditions to be able to travel.”

While it may be possible to enter the country, many will be wondering what safety measures will be in force once they arrive, and how many attractions will be open to visitors.

Susanna questioned Mr Theroharis on this, asking: “What will people discover when they arrive in Greece?

“Currently we have lockdown measures – as long as the vaccination is still in progress,” he replied.

“We’re confident that in the next few weeks as the measures take effect and with the help of the weather, we’re going to be able to lift the measures on the way to May 14th which is the date that we’ve announced we will welcome tourists.”
Santorini (Image: Getty Images/Flickr RF)

After Kate asked him how the country can be confident it will be able to keep tourists safe, Mr Theoharis added: “We have a lot of experience – we opened last year to tourists and now we have many more tools.

“The result of last year was a very positive result that kept everyone safe. So I’m very confident in expressing the fact that everyone will be safe.”

The minister confirmed that his department were in contact with the British government to make travel to the holiday hotspot ‘as easy as possible’, and will work with UK officials to accept any digital or paper-based vaccine passport scheme.

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“When you travel to Greece you will not have to pack your smile but on your way home you will be taking a smile back with you,” the tourism minister added in his appearance on the show.

Leisure travel is currently banned for people living in the UK, but the rule could be relaxed for those in England from May 17.
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The EU are currently working on a ‘Digital Green Certificate’ scheme which would be accepted as proof that a traveller has had a Covid-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference in February that documents providing proof that someone has received a jab would ‘raise all sorts of issues’, but he added that certificates enabling international travel ‘will be a feature of our life in the future’.

Good Morning Britain airs every weekday morning from 6am on ITV.

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