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 a number of other different international locations together with the United States and Britain.
The transfer successfully opens the nation’s borders to vacationers from the United States 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 its summer time vacationer season regardless that a 3rd wave of coronavirus infections is in full power. Pressure 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 as lengthy as they’ve a vaccination certificates or a destructive PCR take a look at performed 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 May 14.
A take a look at run was organized by travel-industry specialists 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 lodge on the island, to which they have been confined at some stage in 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 can have to self-quarantine for 10 days on their return. The trial is thus far seen as profitable over all, although eight of the group have been obliged to self-isolate throughout the lodge after inconclusive mid-vacation take a look at outcomes. Follow-up assessments have been destructive.
The authorities have ramped up testing in latest weeks as they regularly raise 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 speedy assessments can be found at Greek pharmacies and their use is obligatory in faculties as nicely as a lot of the retail sector.