Greece has reopened to tourists – but restaurants and bars are STILL closed due to lockdown


GREECE has reopened to tourists this week from 33 countries – but holidaymakers face a very different experience.

Restaurants and bars remain closed in the country, while a night-time curfew is in place from 9pm until 6am.

Greece is welcoming back tourists from the UK, EU and US from today if vaccinated

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Greece is welcoming back tourists from the UK, EU and US from today if vaccinatedCredit: AFP

The country is currently facing some of the highest daily new Covid cases since the pandemic began with highs of 4,293 per day this month.

The vaccine rollout is also still to pick up, with just 16.5 per cent given the first dose, although many of the smaller islands are now fully vaccinated.

Despite this, tourists from the Netherlands were invited back as part of a pilot scheme this month to test current Covid restrictions ahead of the May 14 opening date.

More than 25,000 people applied to be part of the scheme in less than 24 hours.

Greece is now welcoming tourists from the UK, as well as the EU, the US and the UAE, if they are vaccinated, or have a negative Covid test.

Quarantine hotels are still in place for anyone who tests positive, with rapid tests on arrival, face masks and social distancing still in place.

Dutch tourists returned earlier this month as part of a pilot scheme

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Dutch tourists returned earlier this month as part of a pilot schemeCredit: Reuters
From yesterday, Brits can return if fully vaccinated

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From yesterday, Brits can return if fully vaccinatedCredit: Reuters
However, many country's are yet to lift their own travel ban

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However, many country’s are yet to lift their own travel banCredit: EPA

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis told CNN that the country is taking “baby steps” to allow a full reopening next month.

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He added that they will be “making adjustments” over the next few weeks to allow tourists to return safely.

Tourist numbers have dropped during the pandemic – while 31.3m visited in 2019, this dropped to just 7.4m in 2020, the lowest in more than a decade.

Many tourists are unable to return due to their own country’s travel ban.

The UK government is yet to give the go ahead for holidays abroad, and is feared that Greece may be on the “amber” list as part of the new traffic light scheme.

This will mean Brits have to quarantine for 10 days when returning from a holiday to Greece, as well as pay for two Covid tests.

Other countries in Europe such as Spain and Portugal may also be on the “amber” list due to the slow vaccine rollout.

Malta and Gibraltar are expected to be the only Europe destinations on the “green” list, along with the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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UK holidays are now allowed to go ahead, however – restrictions have been lifted in Wales and England which allow single-households to stay at self-catered properties.

Next month, hotels will be able to open while group holidays will be able to go ahead too.

Here is everything you need to know about booking a holiday this summer, and how to protect your money.

Greece Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis confirms tourists to return from May 14





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