Greece plans to revive tourism with a series of measures, one of which will grant unrestricted entry into the country for certain individuals.
Since the largest Covid-19 wave to date in January 2021, the number of cases in Greece is slowly decreasing. But the crisis is far from over, as the entire country is still on most lists of risk areas.
Nevertheless, there are also some successes. According to reports, eight Greek islands are already Covid-19-free due to a fully vaccinated population – Fourni, Inoussos, Kalamos, Kastellorizo, Kastos, Meganissi, Psara and Thymana.
Unrestricted Entry for Vaccinated Visitors?
Apart from the fact that the vaccination campaign in Greece is slowly bearing fruit, the government is working extensively to stimulate tourism – especially with regard to the summer season.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pleaded very early on for an EU-wide vaccination passport, which should make travelling easier for vaccinated individuals. The “Green Vaccination Certificate” should be available from June 1st.
The goal of the Greek government, however, is to enable unlimited entry for EU citizens and visitors from Israel even earlier, provided they are vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that there will be no mandatory testing nor quarantine requirements for these individuals.
It is still not clear when exactly these measures will come into effect. Political experts in Athens suspect, however, that these measures will put pressure on the introduction of the EU vaccination passport. But the main aim is to save the tourism industry, which normally accounts for almost a fifth of the Greek GDP.
Cruise Tourism Set for Restart
In this context, it must also be noted that the cruise industry, which has a long tradition in the country, is in full preparation for the restart of tourism in Greece. The importance of the sector was also hailed by Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis during a videoconference with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The Minister also gave special emphasis on the promotion of a “Greek experience”. He appealed to the representatives of cruise companies to increase the supplies of their ships with products from Greek producers.
CLIA Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Maria Deligianni said that the cruise industry has worked diligently to introduce improved protocols to protect the passengers, crew and communities they visit.
“Greece is an important cruise destination, and we look forward to proceeding with the safe resumption of cruise activity, as always in cooperation with competent authorities,” she added.