Vaccinated travellers 'shouldn't need to be tested' says Theoharis
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Greece holidays will once again open up to Britons. Haris Theoharis told ITV News yesterday that Greece will be open to Britons whether they’ve had the Covid vaccine or not. Travellers who are vaccinated can travel to the country and be exempt from self-isolation.
Meanwhile, those who have not had the vaccine can also travel but will need to show proof of a negative Covid test before heading to Greece, under the latest travel advice.
Theoharis said: “We feel that the vaccination programmes is a game-changer, together with rapid tests and alongside PCR tests.
“We feel that vaccination means someone with the required certificates which will be issued by the government will mean you don’t need to have a negative test before the flight.
“But it doesn’t mean that only vaccinated people can travel.
“We still have the option of a negative test for those who haven’t had a vaccine.”
The tourism minister explained that there is ongoing discussion between the UK and Greece regarding a vaccine passport.
This would prove that travellers have been vaccinated against coronavirus and would greatly simplify travel.
Theoharis told ITV: “From the start of our vaccination programme it has been a digital programme. We’ve sent SMS messages to confirm appointments, so all this is very digital.
“We’ve created vaccination certificates which show that someone is vaccinated.
“It has three modes of identification: It has a QR code, a signature and a URL which you can verify. It can be done automatically.
“I’m sure in the UK the discussions are still ongoing, there’s still some way to go. I’m sure the UK has something equivalent to automate as much as possible.”
Theoharis added that Greece is looking forward to welcoming back tourists safely, but it’s unclear from what date this will be.
It’s hoped that UK rules will allow Britons to travel abroad from May 17, but this date is still subject to review.
The current Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Greece sees arrivals restricted, and Covid tests and quarantine mandatory.
The FCDO states: “UK nationals are permitted to enter Greece if they are a permanent resident in the UK, Greece, another EU/EFTA state, or in one of the following countries; Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE.
“If you’re a British national who resides in another country, not listed above, you’re likely to be refused entry to Greece due to measures put in place by the Greek authorities to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.”
The FCDO continues: “All arrivals into Greece need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before your time of arrival into Greece.
“Anyone entering Greece from the UK will also be asked to undergo a rapid test for COVID-19 on arrival.
“Arrivals from the UK are currently required to self-isolate for seven days in the event of a negative test result. In the event of a positive test result, travellers will have to isolate for at least 14 days. In either case, travellers will need to undertake a further PCR test at the end of their period of self-isolation.”
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