Greece is easing COVID-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated European citizens on Monday as the country attempts to reinvigorate its vital tourism sector.
Incoming travelers with a valid EU vaccination certificate will no longer have to present a negative test result, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in a statement on Friday.
The minister’s announcement comes amid a decline in Greece’s coronavirus cases after a spike due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
This changes the previous policy which required all travelers to show a negative PCR or rapid test result upon arrival. Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the government is aiming to encourage tourism and incentivize travelers to plan trips earlier.
“Our country is getting ready this year to welcome visitors for the summer season, earlier than ever before, from March 1,” Kikilias tweeted, adding that Greece is conveying “a strong message of safety” to tourists.
Over the past two weeks Greece’s case numbers have declined while, on most days, deaths have remain above 100 — approximately double the average of similar-sized EU countries such as Belgium.
Approximately 70 percent of the country’s nearly 11 million people are fully vaccinated. To boost this number, the Greek government has introduced stricter measures in recent months, including monthly fines for unvaccinated people ages 60 and older which took effect in January.
Featured image: Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
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