After a dramatic drop in tourism last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Greece’s officials are carefully informing us that recovery is possible in season 2021.
As much as tourists all over the world impatiently wait for the day they will be able to jump into the cerulean depths of Aegean or the Ionian Sea, Greece also awaits the opportunity to let tourism be an important segment of its economy once again. Until the coronavirus pandemic, tourism counted for 20% of their economic output. And let us remind that this all followed a debt crisis that lasted for about ten years and finally came to an end in 2018.
Greek officials are being very careful about the statements they give as the only thing we know for certain in these times is that no plans are certain and no promises can be made for sure. Their Minister of tourism Mr. Harry Theoharis has confirmed that those who do get vaccinated will probably have fewer restrictions if they want to enter Greece. He has also said that nobody knows exactly how the whole situation will develop thus it is early for a definite prognosis.
He also said that, according to their research, it is clear that most people, who usually prefer Greece as their holiday destination, do want to come to Greece this year too. However it probably all depends on the vaccination rate all over the world. Experts predict that herd immunity will not be completed by summer despite the vaccination plans.
When asked about “health passport” for those who want to travel, Theoharis said that “with today’s data, it does not make sense to ban someone from traveling because they have not been vaccinated. What seems certain now is that the formalities, the difficulties, restrictions, tests will be fewer and easier for those who have been vaccinated.”
Although it is predicted that things do not go back to full normality this year, the minister said that Greece has been doing a great job in implementing protocols and strict adherence to health measures.
Covid19 vaccination certificate
Also, in a letter to the chief of the European Committee Ursula von der Leyen, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has suggested establishing vaccination certificate for the whole European Union in order to renew travel possibilities. They have already created their own standardized certificate to prove a person has had the vaccine. Mitsotakis has added that it is necessary to adopt a joint understanding of the structure of the vaccine certificate so all the EU members can accept it.
Greece claims that it is of crucial importance that this issue be resolved before the beginning of the summer season for the countries that depend on tourism.
Despite that, Greece has reported 135,931 infections since its first case in February and 4,672 deaths. The country has been in a nationwide lockdown since early November and allowed only hair salons and bookstores to reopen for the Christmas season.