Greece is readying to again welcome international tourists starting on May 14.
Greece’s Tourism Minster Harry Theocharis made the announcement this week at the ITB Berlin trade show, which went virtual this year.
“Greece is ready to with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” the Minister said according to transcripts.
All inbound travelers will need either to be vaccinated, have COVID-19 antibodies, or produce a negative test upon arrival. All will also be subject to random testing, Theocharis said.
Greece is still in the midst of battling a second COVID-19 wave of infections. On Monday, March 15, Greece recorded its highest new case total since December 5, 2020, with 1,134 new COVID-19 cases, according to Worldometers.
The country is also still in lockdown, with residents confined to a 2-kilometer boundary around their homes and needing permission to go beyond that during the lockdown.
However, Greece believes that the continued vaccine rollout (Greece is continuing to roll out the AstraZeneca vaccine to its residents despite other European countries pausing their own rollouts) will make it safe for inbound travelers starting in mid-May.
Theocharis at ITB said that tourism and hospitality workers, which are reportedly one in five workers in Greece, would be next up for COVID-19 vaccinated after the country’s elderly and vulnerable population.
Greece was one of the destinations that travel advisors highlighted when TMR recently asked them about the post-pandemic travel boom.
The news comes also as some travel suppliers ready their own Greece offerings—Greek Isles and East Mediterranean cruise line Celestyal Cruises will resume operations on May 29, it announced on Wednesday morning.
The line will resume operations with a seven-night Idyllic Aegean itinerary that includes stops at Kusadasi, Rhodes, Santorini, Lavrion, Mykonos, Milos, and Crete onboard Celestyal Crystal. Going forward, Celestyal could add more ships, but right now it is concentrating on Crystal, which will offer some short three- and four-night sailings from Lavrion and Piraeus throughout the spring.