Hopes for holidays this year as Greece plans to welcome UK tourists from May
10 March 2021, 08:07
Greece hopes to open its borders to foreign tourists from May 14 depending on the COVID pandemic.
Holidays abroad could be on the cards this year as Greece has confirmed it is looking to welcome tourists.
Speaking at a travel conference, the country's Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis said that the country would be opening its borders to UK holidaymakers from May 14.
Travellers would need to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccine or test negative for Covid-19 before entering.
"We are approaching the exit from this dark tunnel thanks to the power of the human spirit and the progress of science," Mr Theoharis said.
"Please allow me to emphasise that no image could better portray the return to the normality of tourism than the Greek smile, the Greek landscape, the Greek hospitality.
"Regarding 2021, in Greece we are more than optimistic.
"We are ready, we are ready to share the experience of liberation from the unpleasant memories of the pandemic with each and every one of our guests."
He added that the government is working on a ‘pilot’ reopening of borders which could take place early next month.
This comes after Boris Johnson confirmed in his ‘roadmap to freedom’ that May 17 is the earliest anyone can expect to go on holiday.
But dependent on the success of the vaccine roll out and Covid cases at the time, it is thought that June 21 is a more likely date.
Meanwhile, Cyprus recently announced that it would welcome back fully vaccinated Brits from May 1 with no need to quarantine or show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
Cyprus Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said: "We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated... so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine."
There is currently a ban on international travel in the UK and it is illegal to travel abroad for a holiday.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that parts of Europe are behind the UK in their vaccine rollouts, and that he can't confirm if holidays will happen.
"We are still in a zone of great uncertainty about what the virus will do next," he said.
"On top of that many of the vaccination programmes in Europe, a place where we frequently go on holiday, are running behind ours.
"Whether we can go on holidays abroad depends on what other countries will say and do in terms of foreign tourism.
"I am not going to give you a firm answer, because I genuinely don't think there is one at this point."