ATHENS, 9 Mar – RIA Novosti. Greece intends, if the epidemiological situation allows, to open the “tourist gates” by May 14, said the Minister of Tourism of Greece Haris Theocharis at the international tourism exhibition ITB 2021, which is being held in digital format this year. His statements are quoted by the Athens news agency AMNA.
Greece plans to receive from May 14 tourists not only from the EU countries, but also from third countries, which include Russia, Belarus, Ukraine.
Until then, in early April, a “pilot” opening is possible for the EU countries, as well as those countries that are actively vaccinating, for example, Israel, Theocharis said.
The minister stressed that all these plans will be implemented taking into account the conditions of the pandemic.
Addressing potential tourists, Theocharis said Greece is ready to receive them with full protocol for the summer of 2021. In this context, tourists must meet the following three conditions: be vaccinated, have antibodies, or test negative for COVID-19.
At the same time, he noted that all tourists can pass a spot check, as it was last year. An important difference compared to last year is the use of a rapid test, which means that there is no need for temporary isolation for 24 hours while waiting for the test results. This year, the diagnosis will be made immediately, and if necessary, the tourist will be transferred to the appropriate institution, the minister said. He stressed that all costs are borne by the Greek state, there will be no additional costs for foreign guests.
According to him, the sanitary rules that apply to the citizens of Greece also apply to the guests of the country without distinction or exception.
“For example, a mask is required in public places. This applies to everyone,” he said.
At the same time, he noted that health structures in popular Greek tourist destinations are being strengthened.
The 2021 tourist season will be held under the motto All you want is Greece, Theocharis said, inviting the international community to come to Greece this year for a holiday.
“This year and always, all you need is Greece. For the smile to return again, with the hope that life will return, all you need is Greece,” the Greek minister said.
“Since 2020, Greece has already proven in practice that it can guarantee all its visitors a safe holiday. We have managed to safely open up Greek tourism,” said Theocharis, noting that a total of more than 6 million tourists visited Greece last year.