Greece to Lift Quarantine Status for Some Nations’ Tourists

Greece plans to lift a seven-day compulsory quarantine for visitors from the European Union and five other countries including the U.S. and U.K. as of next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The April 19 move is part of a gradual re-opening of a tourism sector that’s one of the country’s most important, accounting for about a fifth of the Greek economy and more than a quarter of jobs. Revenue from the industry plunged by more than 76% in 2020 as governments closed borders and imposed lockdowns to contain the coronavirus.

Alongside fellow EU countries, Greece will not request isolation from visitors from the U.S., U.K., Serbia, Israel and United Arab Emirates, the person said. They will still need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from within 72 hours before arrival.

Whether tourists from those countries will be able to travel remains to be seen. A resurgence of coronavirus cases has hit many parts of Europe, where a vaccine-rollout plan is at an early stage. The U.K. is further advanced with inoculations, but has held back on confirming that citizens will be able to resume leisure travel from May 17.

A Greek government spokeswoman confirmed the plans, without specifying the affected countries.

“It’s a pilot opening, a mini pilot implementation of the green pass,” Aristotelia Peloni said in a briefing Thursday. “Visitors will be subject to the same restrictions as Greek citizens.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was the first European leader to ask for a vaccine passport that will make traveling easier for those who have been inoculated. Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis is also visiting Russia to meet with government officials ahead of this year’s tourism season.

“We will be able to accept in Greece those travelers who have been vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine,” Theoharis told news agency TASS, according to an emailed statement from the Greek ministry.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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