Despite all the criticism from Germany and France over Greece’s relaxed entry policy for arrivals from non-European countries where the Delta variant has widely spread, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the only answer to this situation is to speed up the vaccination process.
“There is an answer to the question of variants – and in particular the Delta variants – and that is to speed up the vaccination process,” Mitsotakis said at the end of European Union’s summit held on Friday.
As such, the Prime Minister noted that based on the assessments made by the experts, the Delta variant would be predominantly spread across Europe by the end of August, so there is no need for stringent restrictions but rather a better vaccination scheme SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“My personal assessment – which I believe is shared by the majority of the European Council – is that there is no need to impose additional restrictions on travel from countries where this mutation already exists and its spread is more pronounced,” Mitsotakis added.
In addition, he stressed that there is no such ‘majority of the EU Council’ that wants to enforce additional restrictions in view of the summer in order to cope with the Delta variant.
Greece allows travellers from countries in which travel to and from Greece has been permitted, to enter the country with only a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test result.
With reference to the criticism by Chancellor Angel Merkel regarding the acceptance of the Sputnik V vaccine by Greece, Mitsotakis called them “journalistic exaggerations”. However, he acknowledged that the issue on the matter was raised.
In order to help the travel and tourism sector recover from the loss suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the travel process for those planning to visit the country, Greece has introduced its EU Digital COVID-19 Passport.
Greece is one of the first countries to start issuing COVID travel certificates, alongside Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Croatia, and Poland.
Consequently, now the country allows restriction-free entry to all persons arriving from European Union, Schengen Area, or any other country with low infection rates, provided that the travellers have obtained the EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passport.
Previously, the Prime Minister of Greece said that he is very positive that the country will meet its tourism revenue target during 2021. It is expected that the revenues and tourist arrivals this year will reach half of the levels registered in 2019.