The Greek Minister of Tourism, Harry Theoharis, visited Poland last Thursday and met with representatives of Polish authorities, the president of the Polish Chamber of Tourism and representatives of the tourism industry, and gave an interview. It raised some interesting issues regarding this year's rules for rest in Greece. Some of them are already known, but there are also some news.
Any EU citizen who has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or presents a negative PCR test result no earlier than 72 hours prior to entry can enter Greece. It is worth bearing in mind that 14 days must pass from the second dose of vaccination for the vaccination to be considered valid. If there is less than 14 days between vaccination and entry to Greece, PCR testing will be mandatory.
As clearly stated by the minister, the only option to bypass PCR testing before traveling is to have valid proof of vaccination. He also informed that the Greek side is also working on the rules of admitting convalescents, but at the moment there are no specific guidelines. Perhaps this will be tantamount to the need to present a positive PCR test result several months earlier, which will confirm the previous coronavirus infection. This is important information for all people eligible for this criterion. However, it should be borne in mind that to fulfill it, it is required to have an appropriate confirmation document. So, if you are planning a trip and are a healed, do not throw away the test results that confirm covid disease to the trash yet.
The cost of performing PCR tests in the event that you do not have vaccination confirmation paper will significantly increase the total cost of vacation in Greece. An interesting option that will slightly compensate for this expense may be vouchers from hoteliers. Please note, however, that this is a preliminary proposal for now. People who will perform the PCR test in Poland will receive a voucher from the hotel, which can be exchanged for various hotel services. This is an interesting option, especially in a situation where mandatory PCR tests will cover children from 5 years of age.
Theoharis also noted that a small percentage of tourists who are vaccinated or tested negative will still be randomly tested when crossing the border. Unfortunately, obtaining a positive result during such a random test will mean quarantine in a designated hotel, which is fortunately carried out at the expense of the Greek state.
In this regard, Theoharis repeated what is already known: tourists will be bound by the same rules that are introduced for the inhabitants of Greece. Most of the restrictions are to be lifted, apart from the obligation to wear masks. Their wearing is to be compulsory in all public places, both outdoors and indoors. They will only be removable on beaches. There will also be social distancing and hand disinfection.
Separate sanitary guidelines are prepared for common areas in tourist resorts and hotels.
The plan of the Greeks is to gradually open up various sectors of tourism. From May 3, outdoor gardens in restaurants are open, and archaeological sites are also open.
On May 8, organized beaches with tourist infrastructure will start operating. On May 14, museums will resume operations, with the group size limited to 15 people. On May 21, summer and outdoor cinemas will be launched with seats up to 75% full Only from 28 May it will be possible to take part in live concerts and outdoor performances. More people will be able to transport tourist buses - up to 85% of seats.
The minister said that the first weeks after the start of the season would also be time to refine the procedures and fix the problems. Greek politicians realize that it will be a difficult year, but the overarching goal is not the numbers but the health and life of people.
You can read the entire interview with the minister on the Rzeczpospolita website.