TOURISM

UK nod for five Greek islands

uk-nod-for-five-greek-islands

The United Kingdom has quietly dropped its leisure travel advisory against visiting five islands key to Greek tourism, ahead of the announcement of its so-called “green list,” while Germany is also set to allow the return of its citizens from Greece without quarantining as of mid-June.

A few days before announcing the list of countries from which travelers will no longer have to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon their return to the UK (known as the green list), London has excluded the five very popular islands from its advice against non-essential travel to Greece.

The Foreign Office said in a statement on Wednesday that, along with the Canary Islands in Spain and the whole of Portugal (with the exception of the Azores region), it “is not advising against travel to the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.”

Although the drafting of Britain’s green list rests with its Ministry of Transport, the travel and tourism industry would not proceed with organizing and selling trips and package holidays to Greece unless the Foreign Office changed its advice, according to industry sources cited by the Daily Telegraph.

Reports in the UK say the rest of Greece may remain on the amber list this month and for most of the next, before being upgraded to the green list in late June.

Germany is also planning to lift quarantine requirement for arrivals from Greece next month, possibly from mid-June, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis was told upon formally visiting Berlin this week. Germany is Greece’s biggest tourism market, with the UK second, and Theocharis met with government and tourism industry officials.

As of Saturday, May 14, Greece will allow visitors from several countries, including Germany and the UK, to be spared quarantine upon arrival in this country provided they have been vaccinated or can present a recent negative PCR test.

Poland, an up-and-coming market for the Greek destination, is the next stop on Theocharis’ roadshow tour in his effort to facilitate tourism flows to Greece this summer. He is going to Warsaw on Thursday.