Greece is lifting its quarantine requirements for travelers from several countries starting next week, almost a month ahead of its May reopening date.
Travelers from the European Union, the United States, Britain, Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates will not have to undergo the country’s 7-day quarantine starting April 19, Reuters reported Wednesday.
However all tourists will be subject to local lockdown restrictions.
The rule lift is ahead of Greece’s official reopening date on May 14 when tourists who are vaccinated, have coronavirus antibodies or have tested negative for COVID-19 will be able to enter.
Travelers will be able to enter via the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu, and at two border crossings. The airports will open on the day that the quarantine rule is lifted a tourism official said, according to The Guardian.
The May reopening date is just a few days before the UK said it may allow residents to resume international travel — which would be a huge tourism boost for Greece.
Behind Germany, the U.K. is the number-two source of tourism to Greece, a country where one in every five jobs is linked to tourism, Reuters reported in March.Prior to the pandemic, the nation, including its islands and historical attractions like the Acropolis, saw more than 30 million international visitors annually.
In line with its effort to restart tourism, Greece will begin vaccinating tourism workers once it has completed the elderly and medically vulnerable populations. Vaccination rates are expected to ramp up in April, when large shipments of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are scheduled.
In total Greece has reported over 300,000 cases of COVID-19 with just over 9,000 deaths.