Athens is appealing directly to Britons. Those with shots will be spared tests, with or without the European Union’s blessing, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis has said in interviews with UK media.
Tourism sustains a fifth of Greece’s workforce and economy, hit by a 76% drop in international arrivals last year and 14 billion euros in lost sector revenue. As a result, airlines and tour operators are pushing “sun-and-sea” bookings to Spain, Greece and Portugal in a bid to bring in much-needed cash.
“The trend now is towards what’s likely to be open,” said Toby Kelly, CEO of UK travel agency Trailfinders, pointing to a “massive pickup in demand” to Greek destinations. “Greece has been the big story, with its government totally behind vaccine certificates.” Without waiting for Brussels, Cyprus joined the rush on Thursday, announcing that vaccinated UK tourists could enter from May 1 without testing or quarantine. (Reuters)