Government AffairsSeychelles by end March, while Greece hopeful for May.

More countries open up to vaccinated travellers

Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis has announced that the country is opening its borders on May 14.
Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis has announced that the country is opening its borders on May 14. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Santorines

As vaccination gets underway in parts of the world, more countries are announcing their tourism reopening plans.

Greece's tourism minister Haris Theoharis announced at the just concluded ITB Berlin that Greece hopes to reopen on 14 May in time for the usual tourism season, welcoming all who have been vaccinated, have antibodies or tested negative for the coronavirus.

"All tourist may be subjected to random tests, in the same way as last year. However, a significant difference compared to last year is the rapid test, thanks to which the quarantine for positive cases will start immediately, and not 24 hours later like in 2020," Theoharis added, according to a report from euronews.

Until then, a gradual ease of restrictions will ensue, starting with a pilot programme with travellers from the European Union "as well as other countries of departure where the vaccination has progressed, such as Israel".

The destination has been on prolonged lockdown and is currently observing a nighttime curfew, with non-essential shops still shuttered, a ban on travel for several Greek cities, and a cap on public gatherings.

Greece is not the only country to open its borders to vaccinated travellers.

Earlier this month, the Seychelles has announced that it will be reopening to foreign tourists sans restrictions starting 25 March 2021.

With the exception of South Africa visitors, the island nation in the Indian Ocean will welcome global travellers irrespective of their vaccination status, with visitors only required to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure.

There will be no quarantine upon arrival or movement restrictions imposed, but tourists are required to stay in hotels certified as complying with coronavirus measures.

Visitors to the country will still have to abide by other public health measures including the wearing of face masks, social distancing, regular sanitisation or washing of hands.

In a 4 March announcement, the country's minister for foreign affairs and tourism Sylvestre Radegonde said that the decision to review and relax the entry procedures in the country has been made possible in view of the success registered in the aggressive vaccination campaign that the country embarked on earlier in the year — to have at least 70% of its population over the age of 18 to receive their jabs by mid-March 2021.

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