ATHENS — As a part of a plan to revive its essential tourism sector, Greece is lifting quarantine restrictions starting Monday for arrivals from European Union member states and several other different international locations together with the USA and Britain.
The transfer successfully opens the nation’s borders to vacationers from the USA for the primary time in additional than a yr.
Having suffered heavy financial losses final yr due to the pandemic, Greece is set to save lots of its summer season vacationer season despite the fact that a 3rd wave of coronavirus infections is in full power. Strain on hospitals is excessive, with round 200,000 energetic coronavirus infections and a demise toll of 9,462 as of Sunday.
Greece had beforehand required arrivals to quarantine for seven days, however will waive that rule for passengers from the listed international locations so long as they’ve a vaccination certificates or a adverse PCR check carried out inside 72 hours of their arrival.
The rule leisure may also apply to vacationers from Serbia and the United Arab Emirates, and echoes a system put in place final month for passengers from Israel, which has a world-leading inoculation marketing campaign.
Greek authorities officers have mentioned the purpose is for a “gradual” welcoming of vacationers earlier than a deliberate official reopening of the nation’s tourism sector on Might 14.
A check run was organized by travel-industry consultants final week on the island of Rhodes within the southern Aegean, with a gaggle of 188 Dutch vacationers.
The Dutch guests got unique use of a resort on the island, to which they have been confined all through an eight-day trip. They have been examined for coronavirus earlier than their arrival, throughout their keep and earlier than their departure on Monday, and should self-quarantine for 10 days on their return. The trial is to date seen as profitable over all, although eight of the group have been obliged to self-isolate throughout the resort after inconclusive mid-vacation check outcomes. Comply with-up assessments have been adverse.
The authorities have ramped up testing in latest weeks as they progressively carry lockdown restrictions — retail shops have been permitted to open this month, on an appointment-only foundation, and excessive faculties reopened after a five-month closure. Free weekly self-administered fast assessments can be found at Greek pharmacies and their use is obligatory in faculties in addition to a lot of the retail sector.