Update: Check out the latest announcements on what will change with the opening of tourism on the 14th of May here!
Great news for the summer travelers! With the slogan “All you want is Greece“, the Greek Tourism Minister Harris Theocharis is welcoming the tourism season of 2021. He announced this week that, this summer, Greece will be open for tourism for travelers that are vaccinated, have recovered, or test negative for the Covid-19.
During the winter, Santorini has been almost covid-free, with just a few confirmed cases in the course of a couple of months. It is now again off the danger zone and businesses are starting preparations for the new summer season! Greece as a whole is going through its third wave of cases, but it has still fared better than most of Europe with almost 7,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
According to the announcements, Greece is aiming to officially start the summer season by mid-May. With this aim, the government hopes that the active coronavirus cases will allow for the restrictive measures to be eased slowly until then. The plan is that starting from April, travelers from some countries that are doing well with vaccinations or with their number of new cases will be allowed in Greece.
“Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” he said. “Tourists will be welcome if before travel they are either vaccinated, or have antibodies, or test negative.” He added “All tourists will be subject to random testing, in the same way as last year. However, a significant difference compared to last year is the rapid test, thanks to which the quarantine for positive cases will start immediately, and not 24 hours later like in 2020”.
The same safety measures will apply to both Greeks and tourists, with the use of face masks in public places being one of the most important ways to limit the spreading of any new cases. If a tourist tests positive for COVID-19, their medical costs will be covered by the Greek state.
Regarding the vaccinations of people working in the tourism industry, he said the aim is for them to be prioritized after the vulnerable groups have been vaccinated. Until then, businesses that operate in the tourism sector will need to preemptively test their staff weekly.
Closing, Mr. Theocharis stressed that all opening dates may change depending on the epidemiological data and developments.
If “All you want is Greece”, the time has come to start planning!!