Greece and France Are Preparing to Welcome Back Travelers

Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

Good news, travelers: Greece and France — two of the most popular destinations in Europe — are on track to open their borders to international visitors.

Starting today, Greece no longer requires citizens of the 27-nation European Union (E.U.), or visitors from the United States, Britain, Israel, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates to quarantine upon arrival in the country — so long as they can provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

Greece will then further loosen its travel restrictions on May 14, when visitors from more countries are expected to be welcomed back.

“They are baby steps before the country opens as planned for tourists on May 14,” an unnamed source inside the Greece tourism ministry told The Guardian. “Nine airports will open at the same time that the restriction is lifted.

“Under the plan, airports will reopen in Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Athens, Thessaloniki, and Chania and Heraklion on Crete,” the source added. “We’re not expecting tourists to start arriving en masse, but the system needs to be tested. It can’t be switched on, in one go, overnight.”

Photo by Barna Bartis on Unsplash

France’s reopening plans aren’t quite as aggressive as Greece’s. French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the country’s strategy on CBS NewsFace the Nation on Sunday morning.

The plan is to begin by lifting restrictions on non-E.U. travelers, including Americans, in the coming weeks.

“We will progressively lift the restrictions [at] the beginning of May,” Macron explained (via TravelPulse.com). “We are working hard to propose a very concrete solution — especially for U.S. citizens who are vaccinated. So, with a special pass, I would say.”

Macron’s “special pass” is expected to be some form of “vaccine passport.”

“The idea, indeed, is altogether to offer that [solution] to the American citizen when they decide to vaccinate or with a PCR test being negative,” the French President explained. “So, the idea is, indeed, to always control the virus, to maximize the vaccination and to progressively lift the restrictions.”

It’s not going to happen overnight, but from the sounds of it, you could be vacationing in your favorite destinations in Greece and France in the not-too-distant future.

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