Greece reopening to vaccinated, COVID-negative travelers in May

Greece is preparing to welcome tourists again — as long as they have antibodies, have been vaccinated or have tested negative for the coronavirus. 

Earlier this week, Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis announced the country’s plan to welcome back travelers by May 14 during a presentation at the ITB Berlin trade show, Reuters reported.

“Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” Theocharis said, per Reuters. “Tourists will be welcome if before travel they are either vaccinated, or have antibodies, or test negative. All tourists will be subject to random testing.”

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To help prepare the country for visitors, Theocharis said employees in the tourism industry would be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines after the country’s vulnerable populations, Reuters reported.

Greece is preparing to open its borders to tourists who have antibodies, a full COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test result, by May 14. (iStock)

Greece is preparing to open its borders to tourists who have antibodies, a full COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test result, by May 14. (iStock)

Greece relies heavily on tourism, with one in five workers employed in the industry, according to the news agency. 

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Before the pandemic, Greece had about 31.3 million people visit the country, The Guardian reported. Officials hope to have at least half that number of tourists this year, according to the newspaper. 

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Greece isn’t the only country to open its borders to vaccinated travelers. 

According to The Points Guy, Estonia, Georgia, Lebanon and Seychelles already allow travelers to visit if they have received a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — along with other protocols, including a negative coronavirus test, depending on the country.

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Iceland, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia also allow travelers with proof of vaccination or negative test results to visit. However, U.S. citizens are currently not allowed to visit those countries, The Points Guy reported. 

Starting May 1, Cyprus plans to open its borders to visitors who have received the vaccine — but that will only apply to travelers from the U.K. and not the U.S., according to the website.

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