Battle for the summer season.

Battle for the summer season.

31-10-2020Carlos Barba

Greece is ready to welcome British tourists this summer regardless of whether they have had a coronavirus vaccine, Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis was quoted as saying this morning.

Greece, which has led calls for a European Union-wide certificate of vaccination to help open up summer tourism, reached an accord with Israel earlier this month to ease travel restrictions for those who can prove they have been vaccinated.

Athens is in talks with Britain about a similar agreement but travel will not be restricted to those who have had anti-COVID-19 shots, Theocharis told ITV News, according to a statement from his ministry.

"All Britons, whether they have had a coronavirus vaccine or not, will have the opportunity to travel to Greece for their summer holidays," he was quoted as saying.
He said Britons who have a vaccine certificate would not need to be quarantined or have a negative PCR test before flying to Greece.

Tourism accounts for about a fifth of the Greek economy and employs one in five workers. A collapse in arrivals last year because of the pandemic slashed revenues to 4 billion euros ($4.81 billion) from 18 billion in 2019.

Theocharis' comments came as European Union leaders met on Thursday to discuss the pandemic, including vaccine certificates, which Greece and other southern EU states like Spain hope will unlock their vital tourism sectors this summer.

Britain, where more than 18 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, has not ruled yet on whether holidays abroad will be allowed this year.

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James / Hace 5 months

Mallorca doesn't want tourists back because they are vaccinated, we want your money, end of. Easy to see, - anybody can transmit the virus, and we won't be vaccinated in time, it's nothing but money, - it's paradise here without tourists.

+0-

David Moore / Hace 5 months

Last time I was in Mallorca I found people who ran bars and retaurants to be unfriendly and unwelcoming. I also found the prices to be very high even in the supermarkets. I think a lot of people now will avoid Spain and go to Portugal, Cyprus and especially Greece.

+3-

Gareth / Hace 5 months

I'd choose Greece all day long over Spain. Sorry to say but they are far friendlier and the culture and food are more my preference. Also Spain reeks of we need your money, rather than actually wanting to welcome tourists.

+7-

Peter / Hace 5 months

In Greece, If you don't have the Coronavirus vaccination you'll have to be quarantined.

+6-

JR / Hace 5 months

The great thing about Greece is that there is no raw sewage on the beaches. No rip off prices in the restaurants and guess what? They smile and welcome tourists!

+14-