Greece could welcome vaccinated British tourists as early as May

Picture of a beach in Greece and a woman receiving the vaccine
Greece could allow vaccinated Brits to travel to the country by May (Picture: Getty)

Vaccinated Brits could jet off to Greece as early as May in a bid to kick-start the country’s tourism industry, it has been reported.

Plans currently being discussed in Athens have suggested that British holidaymakers will be allowed into the nation if they can prove they’ve had a Covid jab, The Times said.

Greek authorities are also reported to be considering vaccinating all airport staff and holiday workers, to protect them against any outbreaks over the summer.

It comes after travel agents in the UK saw a 630% jump in holiday bookings after Boris Johnson laid out his roadmap to leave lockdown on Monday. Greece was one of the most popular destinations, along with Alicante and Faro in Portugal.

The Prime Minister said foreign travel will be permitted from May 17 the earliest. Overnight stays in self-contained accommodation that do not require the shared use of facilities will be allowed in the UK from as early as April 12.

While Greece might be keen for tourists to return, the EU could pour cold water over the country’s plans with their own roadmap for leaving Covid restrictions.

The overcrowded beach of Potamos in Epanomi during a heatwave, a beach near Thessaloniki and Halkidiki. Beach bars and organized beaches are open since Saturday 16 May 2020. Crowds of people, beachgoers are seeing relaxing, swimming and sunbathing without the advised by the government measures against the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, like social distancing or masks. Greece is easing gradually the lockdown allowing people to travel within the region without permission and opening the shops. Hotels, Resorts and Beach Bars are still closed in Greece due to the quarantine. Tourism is the main income industry for Greece offering idyllic holidays for tourists around the world so the country will accept on June 15 to Athens and Thessaloniki flights with tourists from abroad and from July 1st directly to the islands. May 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Authorities in Greece want to kick-start the tourism industry (Picture: Getty Images)
Tourists, arrive at Nikos Kazatzakis International Airport in Heraklion, Crete island, Greece, on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The passengers most of them from Germany who came from Hamburg, with the first international flight to arrive in the island. Regional airports across Greece, including their tourist destination islands, began accepting direct international flights again on Wednesday, for the first time since flights were banned as part of the country's lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/ Harry Nakos )
Holiday books shot up after Boris Johnson revealed his lockdown exit roadmap (Picture: AP)

It it likely Europe will have to stay in the most recent lockdown longer than the UK, as their vaccine rollout has not yet reached the same targets.

European leaders are then expected to warn against holidays across the bloc until more people have received the vaccine and Covid rates drop.

Draft conclusions, seen by The Sun, say: ‘The epidemiological situation remains serious, and the new variants pose additional challenges.

‘We must therefore uphold tight restrictions while stepping up efforts to accelerate the provision of vaccines. For the time being, non-essential travel needs to be restricted.’

A vaccinator administers an injection of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the vaccination centre set up at Chester Racecourse, in Chester, northwest England, on February 15, 2021. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 14 called Britain hitting a target of inoculating 15 million of the most vulnerable people with a first coronavirus jab
The UK vaccine rollout is further along than the EU’s (Picture: Getty Images)

Harry Theocharis, Greece’s tourism minister, has since urged EU leaders to ‘move more quickly’ with the vaccine rollout, noting that more countries need to start preparing themselves for travel.

He told the Financial Times: ‘Looking at the reaction of some countries to vaccination certificate proposals, I feel there’s a lot of short sightedness. There’s more to be done now to prepare ourselves.

‘Some countries are very much preoccupied with now. We need to move more quickly.’

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