Greece hopes to be included on the UK’s green list for travel to the country in the government’s upcoming review, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, who is visiting London this week ahead of the country’s official opening to travelers on Saturday.
The UK recently announced that it would allow travelers from 12 ‘green list’ countries and territories to enter with no restrictions (without having to quarantine after return) starting on May 17. Greece has been placed on the ‘amber’ list, meaning that the quarantine rule will apply to people returning to the UK after visiting the country.
Speaking on Sky News on Tuesday, Theoharis said he was in London to talk with UK government officials in order to ensure both sides understand the Covid-19 control systems implemented by each country.
He underlined that it was important for both sides to comprehend the criteria and to have all the necessary data in order to make “conscious decisions”.
“Of course we would welcome a regional approach… Αll of the Greek islands should have been on the green list of the traffic light system… I am pretty confident – since we are firmly on the way down since the third wave, like the most of the rest of Europe – that there will be no problem in the next review of the UK’s traffic light system,” he said.
Days before Greece opens its doors to the world’s tourists, Theoharis referred to the measures being taken in order to ensure safe and carefree holidays for its visitors.
“We have a very comprehensive, mature, and professional plan to ensure the safety of our citizens, and of course, of anyone that comes to Greece,” he said.
The minister underlined that key to restarting tourism is trust.
“Tourism is an international activity based on trust, which is why it is also very important to work together on a European level or even beyond,” he said.
The minister went on to refer to Greece’s leading role in making post-Covid-19 tourism possible in the EU, including being the first country to implement the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) form and the ΑΙ machine learning system at its borders.
The EU Covid-19 Certificate is also based on the idea tabled by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in January. For all the above, Greece was granted the Global Champion Award for Covid-19 Crisis Management by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) last month.