Greece Will Reopen To Vaccinated Tourists in May

Saying that the government is providing a “clear roadmap for recovery,” Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), praised Greece and its government for its efforts to open international travel earlier than expected.

“The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its Members praise the Greek government for its tremendous efforts and strategic steps taken to restart international travel from 14 May,” she said in a statement.


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Earlier in the week, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis announced the country’s plan to bring tourists back to Greece by May 14, albeit with one big proviso.

“Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” Theocharis said, according to Reuters. “Tourists will be welcome if before travel they are either vaccinated, or have antibodies, or test negative (for COVID-19). All tourists will be subject to random testing.”

That’s an important distinction but a necessary one to help restore international travel, Guevara says.

“This clear roadmap to recovery could reopen the door to a bumper summer of travel for sun-starved holidaymakers looking to get away to Greece, and provide a significant boost to the country’s economy,” she said. “It also lays out the pathway which other countries could follow, in a bid to kickstart safe travel and help revive their own stricken economies.”

Like many European countries, Greece is heavily reliant on tourism. Where 10 percent of all workers in the United States are employed by a travel-related business, that number is doubled in Greece.

Prior to the pandemic, Greece had about 31.3 million people visit the country, according to The Guardian newspaper. Tourism officials are hoping they can get about 15 million tourists in 2021.

“We strongly believe the Greek roadmap shows the practical way forward for other countries to encourage the return of safe travels, as vaccine rollouts gain momentum to return the world’s mobility to get the globe moving again,” Guevara added.

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