Britons could be jetting off to Greece from May 17 if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown goes ahead as planned. Greece has mapped out plans to reopen to tourists from May 15, despite the fact the vaccine roll out predict only the 60 and above age bracket will have been inoculated by this point.
Despite this, according to POLITICO, the nation is hoping to vaccinate entire island communities in a bid to create Covid-free populations.
The New Democracy government has said it hopes this will lure visitors back and restore tourism after a difficult year for international travel in 2020.
Under the plan, smaller islands would be vaccinated first, with the roll-out then moving onto larger islands.
According to reports, Fournoi, Chalki, Symi, Ereikousa, and dozens of other tiny islets with fewer than 1,000 residents in the Aegean and Ionian seas are among the first places likely to be fully vaccinated.
“Pretty much everyone from 20 to 94 years old has been vaccinated. It makes us feel free and more optimistic about ourselves, about our lives, about the people around us,” Deputy Mayor Stratis Amygdalos told POLITICO.
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Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis explained UK tourists will need to either show a certificate providing they have been vaccinated, or proof they have antibodies against the virus or a negative COVID-19 test.
When the time comes, though, the Greek tourism minister said the nation wanted to make travel to the country “as smooth and hassle-free as possible.”
At the time of writing, the UK Government has given no certainty Britons will be able to jet off by then.
The Global Travel Taskforce is due to resume discussions surrounding the possibility of international travel next month.
Meanwhile, in the week ending March 7 an additional 1,783,136 people were reported to have received an NHS vaccination for COVID-19 in England.
This took the total number of people vaccinated with at least one dose as of the vaccine to 18,962,627.
Of those vaccinated, 796,574 people have received a second dose, taking the total number of vaccinations given to 19,759,201.
It is not yet clear whether or not the EU will move ahead with plans for a “digital green pass” which will act much like a vaccination passport.
Though Greece’s Tourism Minister has welcomed the green pass, saying it could work in tandem with Greece’s plans, he has warned the bloc is moving too “slowly”.
“If Europe continues to move slowly, it risks losing a great opportunity to show its global leadership,” he said.
“We have to move as fast as possible. I don’t think it’s a technical issue, there should be political will from all the countries for this to happen as soon as possible.”