In an interview with the Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis gave the message that the country will be open even earlier than the proclaimed May 14, emphasizing that “Greece will host tourists safely.” He added, “We will take care of every tourist as if they were a member of our own family.”
Expressing optimism that 2021 will be a better year for tourism, Theoharis noted the importance of the Digital Green Vaccination Certificate, the continuation of last year’s effective health protocols, and the rapid roll-out of vaccines for the Greek population:
“The Digital Green Vaccination Certificate is a very important tool, which will accelerate tourist traffic internationally. Along with the correct and consistent implementation of the health protocols, I estimate that the Certificate will significantly contribute to the flow of tourists in our country.”
Theoharis also mentioned the possibility of an early reopening of the tourist season, if conditions allow and the necessary measures are in place.
The Tourism Ministry discussed the gradual opening of travel corridors with other EU countries, the United Sates, United Kingdom, Israel, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, Theoharis referred to the resumption of yachting activities and so-called “blue cruises” (cruises without periodic stops in ports).
Under the slogan “All you want is Greece,” the Ministry’s strategy includes the vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the visitor’s side, sampled and targeted checks at the airports through the new and innovative “EVA” system, the utilization of rapid tests, and isolation hotels for positive cases:
“We are basing our strategy on the progress of vaccination programs in both Greece and abroad. Here in Greece, the roll-out of vaccinations is progressing well. In addition, we have rapid testing and the random samples from the airports. We are not just dependent on the Vaccination Certificate.”
Theoharis confirmed the cooperation of international tour operators, including TUI, and praised the hard work and professionalism of members of the tourism sector, who will be eligible for vaccinations after the vulnerable groups:
“This measure will establish a wall of immunity and trust between citizens and tourists. This will allow us to keep both sides healthy and safe.”