Last week, the news came that the European Commission recommended that the 27 member nations block American tourists from entering, due to Covid. With some countries making initial moves in that direction, other countries are outright denying that move. This is what Greece says.
Greece to Continue to Allow American Tourists to Come In
The newly appointed tourism minister of Greece (the Greek cabinet just had a bit of a shakeup with new government ministers) said on Tuesday that ““Greece will continue to receive visitors from the US until the end of the tourist season. This is a very important market, which creates added value in the country’s economy.” this is according to Kathimerini.
This is big for Americans that were hoping to grab a Greek holiday on a bargain budget. Over the last few years, September and October have become very popular in this way due to warm weather normally sticking around and hotel prices dropping. This year, the weather peaked at well over 100 degrees in August for a while but has dropped in some parts of the country to high 70s. In the islands, visitors should still be able to find bathing temperatures until at least the end of September.
But, this word from the Greek government will certainly be welcome to many American tourists. The end of the normal tourist season is usually mid-late October. I am not sure if this is the window they are looking at but I would say Americans have until at least the end of September to visit, at least for now.
There are new restrictions going into place for the unvaccinated as of September 13 and these restrictions will be in place until March 22, 2022. As of now, Greece still does not require vaccination to be able to visit. A negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival or a negative rapid antigen taken 48 hours before arrival will suffice as will proof of having covid and recovering from it in the last 30-180 days.
Once tourists are no longer flocking to Greece, my guess is that Greece will adopt the recommendation that the EU Commission has in place for Americans at that time. Remember, they review the epidemiological data for covid rates in countries every two weeks and typically announce it on a Thursday. This means that the US could be welcome again soon – or not for a while if positivity rates stay high in the US. Since the US does not allow European tourists, the EU could recommend this similar rule for Americans. But, that would be a bad move, economically, if done while the tourist season is still active.