Greece announced that it is lifting quarantine restrictions for US, Israel, and most European countries. It is looking to reopen its tourism sector by next month. Those with a vaccine certificate or a negative PCR test will no longer have to quarantine for 7 days. The PCR test should be issued within the last 72 hours.
Greece depends largely on tourism. 20% of the country’s GDP comes from the tourism sector. Greece is among the countries pushing for a vaccine passport in the region.
Countries part of the EU, Britain, Israel and the US are among those that can skip quarantine if they meet the requirements. However, Greece is also opening its doors to other countries including United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Israel, and other non-EU members in Europe. The list also includes Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni calls this new rule a “pilot measure”. Though you can enter Greece minus quarantine, tourists will still have to comply with domestic travel restrictions. Since Greece is still struggling with the COVID19 pandemic, partial lockdowns are imposed on some parts of the country. Its intensive care facilities are still close to their capacity.
Airports in Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Thessaloniki, Chania, Heraklion and Athens are open for tourists. But this time, Greece isn’t expecting a large number of tourists. However, they are willing to test their system.
International Travel is Still Far From Normal
International flights are still low in the US. Though TSA recorded weeks of more than one million air travelers in different US airports, most Americans can only travel within the US.
CDC has recently released an updated list of countries in Level 4: Do Not Travel guidance list. The list consists of 80% of the countries worldwide. However, CDC also discouraged traveling to countries not on the list. The health agency considered not only the number of cases in the country but also their vaccination roll out and their healthcare capacity.