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Bucking EU, Greece Won’t Bar American Tourists During Pandemic

September 6, 2021

Rejecting the European Union’s call to again reinstate travel restrictions for American tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic surging in the United States, Greece said they will still be welcome. Reuters and other news agencies said EU officials were anxious over a rebound of COVID in the US, especially the Delta Variant that’s also rising in the bloc, especially in Greece.

The US had earlier barred EU visitors, citing the number of cases and hasn’t lifted that prohibition even after the Greece and other EU countries reached out to the key American market. The EU wants Americans traveling to the bloc’s 27 member nations should be subject to measures such as testing, quarantine upon arrival and a halt to all non-essential travel. With Americans leading a charge back to Greece this summer, Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government has no plans to stop them and wants more to come during the autumn too.

The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that regulations over who will be admitted will not include those from the US, said Schengenvisa.info which reports on travel in the Schengen Area in the EU. That comprises 26 EU countries, excepting Cyprus, which have abolished internal borders for visa-free travel and unrestricted movement. The CAA said only one additional country – Chinese Taipei- would be on the list of countries whose residents can enter, the site said, making it 36 who are eligible: Australia, North Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Belarus, New Belarus, Bahrain, South Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Moldavia, Moldavia, Moldavia, Moldavia, Moldova, Kosovo and Chinese Taipei. But travelers coming to Greece still must be vaccinated, have a negative molecular test 72 hours before departing, or proof they have recovered from the Coronavirus and must fill in a Passenger Locator Form before leaving for Greece and show it on entry.

But all, including the vaccinated, are subject to taking a rapid test on arrival and if they prove positive face a 7-to-10-day quarantine paid by the government in special hotels. Croatia also said it won’t follow the EU guidelines and will allow in American visitors who’ve proved a boon to countries trying to recover from the economic bang of lockdowns aimed at slowing the resurging pandemic. Other countries in Europe, including not in the EU, have banned Americans, including Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and Sweden.

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