GLOBAL TOURISM BACK TO BUSINESS
Greece is open to tourists from multiple countries. The country dropped quarantine requirements for E.U. and Schengen areas plus 21 third-party countries. Effective May 14, Greece reopened for tourism to visitors form the E.U. and Schengen areas, United States, U.K., Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, Russia, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia without quarantine.
Travelers aged five and older are now required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival or a vaccine certificate. Additionally, some passengers will have to take a rapid test at the airport. If the test returns positive, they will have to quarantine for 14 days.
The first flights arriving at Athens International Airport came from France, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Switzerland, with most visitors heading for the Greek islands. Hundreds lined up for ferries at the country’s main port of Piraeus, near the capital, joining Greeks taking advantage of the ending of a ban on travel between the country’s regions.
Heraklion Airport on Crete was buzzing for the first time in months, with Germans, French and Israelis among the first arrivals, and the authorities said they expected 10,000 arrivals on the island over the next three days. Mykonos and Santorini, two of the country’s most popular summer destinations, welcomed just a handful of flights, as hotel occupancy remains set at around 30 percent for May. But hopes are high for the summer, with bookings for July close to 90 percent.
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Croatia is following a traffic light system for travel restrictions and anybody coming from an EU country on the “green list” can enter the country without any restrictions. That’s providing they show no symptoms and haven’t been in close proximity to an infected person. All other travelers have to show a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arrival.
On June 9, after more than a year of being fermé to foreign travelers and residents being locked down in various forms, France will be welcoming tourists to the land of buttery croissants and stinky cheese. Here’s the scoop on how to experience la belle vie once again, and whether now is the right time to go. Upon entry into France, a negative PCR test must be presented, which must not be older than 72 hours. Travellers must also fill out a declaration stating, for example, that they have no COVID-19 symptoms. According to the Interior Ministry, travelers from Europe may also enter France without “compelling reasons.”
Italy reopened to foreign tourists from mid-May. Italy is gradually easing the restrictions within the country where a traffic light system is in place. Where infection numbers are moderate, restaurants and bars are allowed to serve at tables outside in the evening. Entry from most of Europe is allowed in principle but persons arriving from these countries must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours upon entry, undergo a five-day quarantine, and present another negative test after five days. This regulation runs until mid-May. Then a national “green vaccination passport” is to be introduced in order to be able to travel freely within the country.
Entry from EU and Schengen-associated states is possible in principle. However, mandatory testing is still required for entry from high-risk countries (including Germany). The country has announced it will throw open its borders to all international visitors as early as June. Fernando Valdés, Spain’s tourism minister, said this week that the country would introduce a ‘digital health certificate’ scheme that would allow travellers from all over the world – including the UK and USA – to holiday there. All tourists would either have to prove that they have been vaccinated, have tested negative in the past 72 hours or have recently recovered from the virus.