Greece could welcome vaccinated British tourists as early as May
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.
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.’
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.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, check our news page.