Americans wishing to enjoy the last days of summer in Greece can still do so, despite advice from the European Union to ban non-essential travel for those arriving from the United States.
Recognizing the value American tourists have contributed to the Greek economy this year, Greece says it will continue to welcome visitors from the U.S until the end of the tourism season, going against the non-binding advice.
The guidance, which is non-binding and allows each individual country to decide whether to reintroduce coronavirus-related restrictions for Americans, was issued by the EU on August 30. It called for Americans to be banned from non-essential travel to the EU’s 27 member states after a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
A report in leading Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini claimed the Greek tourism industry has “benefitted from American tourists whose per capita expenditure exceeds 1,000 euros per trip, placing them at the top of the list of travelers who spend the most in Greece.”
The U.S. has yet to reopen its borders to Europeans since former President Donald Trump imposed a ban on all EU travelers in March 2020. On July 26, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the country not yet ready to lift restrictions on international travel, citing concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant.