OUR NEWS ABOUT COVID
Cautious winter management of COVID restrictions has enabled Greece to effectively contain infections.
The most important news at the moment is that Greece will not make vaccination compulsory or make it a prerequisite for entry into the country. So, if you are planning to spend your next summer vacation in Greece, the country’s doors will also be open to those who have not been subjected to the covid vaccine.
No accommodation establishment on Greek soil will refuse guests, ferries will welcome passengers, beaches will be open to tourism. All of this will obviously take place under rules and restrictions that we are all used to by now, but for the summer of 2021 Greece is not closing its borders. After the 2020 rules, with protocols and a sort of digitization of entries into Greece, for the next few months, two scenarios are being studied to manage tourist flows in the country with a health passport or, alternatively, a molecular test negative. Warning: for the moment, the conditional is a must.
As the Greek government has repeatedly said, admissions will be guaranteed not only to those vaccinated but also to travelers with a negative molecular test. The control methods and entry protocols for people in possession of free Covid tests have not yet been shared: they could partly follow what had been arranged last year, by scheduling entry into the country and probably with the obligation to share the test. For now we can say that we will have to wait a few more weeks, probably for the month of April the new rules could be shared by the Greek Ministry of Tourism.
While waiting for the updates, however, we want to keep dreaming about our favorite island for the summer of 2021: although the pandemic has hit the whole world, some islands in Greece are considered “covid-free”. In these small paradises where a few dozen or hundreds of people live, there have been no cases, and the government is committed to preserving these small nuclei and providing tourists with a safe vacation. In Folegandros, all residents are vaccinated, who so far have not had a single case of infection.
Those who spent the 2020 summer vacation in Greece will remember the entry procedure: the tourist season opened on July 1 and entry could only take place after completing the passenger locator form. (PLF), which when completed assigned a QR code sent by email, to be shown upon entry into Greece regardless of how entry was made (by land, plane, boat). As a sample, the tourists were subjected to swabs and within 24 hours the Greek Ministry of Health informed the tourist of the result of the swab.
Greece has not yet set a date for the opening of the summer season, from which vaccination certificates will be accepted upon entry. Greek Tourism Minister Theoharis also expressed optimism for the next summer season, which is expected to start after Orthodox Easter (this year on May 2), although the most optimistic hope of being able to reopen to tourism as early as Easter.
Source: “La Stampa” newspaper
The Greek Minister of Tourism, Haris Theocharis, took the field and took advantage of the international stage of the largest world fair in the sector, the ITB in Berlin, to announce that on 14 May Greece will officially open the tourist season.
For the announcement, albeit seasoned with cautious references to scientists’ estimates, the symbolic location of the Acropolis Museum in Athens was chosen.
“We will always keep in mind the faithful implementation of health protocols,” said the Minister. “Until May 14th we plan to gradually remove the restrictions, provided that this will be allowed by the estimates of infectious diseases in the face of the development of the pandemic. For example, we have planned for April the pilot implementation of safety measures which in the first phase concerns visitors from European Union countries, as well as from other countries where vaccination has progressed, such as Israel. “
But what security protocols will be applied to tourists? The Minister briefly mentioned: entry will be allowed to travelers who have been vaccinated, or will have immunity following recovery or have been found negative for Covid-19 with a recent test (probably in the 48 hours prior to arrival or boarding).