Greece’s Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis, has outlined the high stakes for the opening of Greek tourism and the positive immediate “upheavals” that the vaccination brings to the tourist traffic for 2021.
In an interview with protothema.gr, Mr. Theocharis made clear that with the vaccine, people have begun to prepare trips much more intensively, underlining that Greece is in the top five countries preferred by foreign tourists, and explains what will apply for those who have been vaccinated and those not and want to travel by air or any other means.
The Minister of Tourism and MP of New Democracy also emphasized that those vaccinated will no longer need to be tested or quarantined, but to present the certificate in digital form for any Authority, national or other upon request. Most countries in Europe will do the same, where mutual recognition between countries of departure and destination is being discussed. For the unvaccinated, there will be expanded border control tools, while as the minister underlined, there is a comprehensive plan to support companies and workers affected by the epidemiological crisis. Theoharis was quoted saying:
“In any case, however, it is clear that in 2021 we will see the coveted light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, our duty is to accelerate as much as possible, the exit of Greek Tourism and Greek society from the darkness of the health crisis.”
The tourism minister also said competent Greek services will issue a certificate in digital form to each vaccinated traveler, which he will show to any authority, national or otherwise when it is requested of them.
He pointed out that similar procedures are followed by most countries, in Europe and beyond. But, Theoharis also made a note of the fact that at the current stage there is an open debate, at the European Union level, on how vaccination certificates will be shared between departure-destination countries for tourists.
On the issue of what will happen with those who were not vaccinated, Mr. Theoharis said it was something that would depend on the course of vaccination on a country by country basis but also on the course of the disease in each of them. The tourism chief added:
“I estimate that having in our hands the rapid tests, which are both cheap and fast, in combination with the vaccination of a significant percentage of the population, the tools that our country will have for border control will be much wider and much safer.”