ATHENS — On Friday, Greece will be opening with safety to tourism, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office Akis Skertsos said on Thursday.
In addition, from June 1, the European green vaccination certificate will go into operation implementing a proposal put forward by Greece, to facilitate travel for those who have been vaccinated or have a negative test.
Moreover, targeted random testing of arrivals at the entrance gateways into Greece using the advanced EVA algorithm, based on the epidemiological burden of the country of origin of each visitor, will continue.
Regarding the green digital certificate, anyone wishing to travel to and from the islands (with the exception of Lefkada and Evia), either by boat or by air, must have a vaccination certificate when booking their ticket (14 days after the second dose), or else a negative 72-hour pcr test, 24-hour rapid test or 24-hour self test. Airlines and shipping companies will be responsible for carrying out the checks. All domestic and foreign travellers over five years will be obliged to take the test.
In detail, the declaration of self tests should be made on the platform self-testing.gov.gr while those who attend public and private facilities for PCR or rapid antigen test should request a digital certificate with the result of the test.
Greeks will no longer need permission from the government to leave their homes starting Friday, as government leaders relax restrictions ahead of the tourism season.
The permission forms were first introduced in late March to enforce limits on non-essential travel.
The measure will be phased out Friday along with a ban on domestic travel between Greece’s administrative regions, while a nightly curfew will be shortened by another 90 minutes. Tourism services and museums will reopen.
Akis Skertsos said coronavirus infection levels have continued to decline in May despite the gradual lifting of restrictions.
He says a European Union system to check vaccination certificates and coronavirus tests was due to start next month, adding travelers would have to carry medical certificates in English until the system launches.
The Acropolis Museum Ready to Open Its Gates
"The Acropolis Museum is looking forward to reopening its gates to the public on May 14," Stamatia Eleftheratou, Director of Collections and Exhibitions of the Acropolis Museum said on Thursday to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
"However, this period gave us the opportunity to restore a number of ancient works or to exhibit some others but mainly to complete a large project, the Digital Acropolis Museum. It is a diverse programme, with many sectors, one of which was the creation of the new website, the launch of which coincided with the lockdown period, giving the Museum the opportunity to address, if not its physical, at least its digital audience, which is just as big," she added.
Eleftheratou explained that "the new website of the Acropolis Museum is not a simple website. It is an entire world, which captures the life and activities of the museum. It is also the first museum website in Greece in which all the exhibits of the Acropolis Museum have been posted. That is, the visitor can find for each exhibit a description, a rich bibliography and plenty of supervisory material, ie pictures and videos – where they exist. Also, our website has a web-page that is addressed specifically to children, with rich activities and imaginative videos and games. In addition, a series of digital applications, interactive and video, was created, which the visitor can view in the physical space of the Museum, but also on the internet," she said.
Rhodes welcomes start of tourism season
Τhe tourist season on the Aegean island of Rhodes was officially launched on Thursday with the arrival of the first tourists from Israel, while nine flights, seven of them from Israel, are expected to land on the island during the day. According to the island's tourism sector, things are expected to go better in the coming weeks.
The first two flights arrived early in the morning from Israel while another five from Israel, one from Paris and one from Brussels are due to arrive during the course of the day.
In a statement, the regional governor of the Southern Aegean Giorgos Hatzimarkos expressed his satisfaction at the opening and his wishes for a good tourist season, underlining that "a mature tourism destination is the one that inspires trust in its visitors. We successfully brought tourists in 2020 and we will also achieve this in 2021."
TUI announces resumption of cruises in Greece
In an announcement on Thursday, TUI Cruises said that it will begin operating cruises in Greece seas again during the summer season, after a long hiatus, with the first cruise ship setting sail from Crete on Friday with roughly 1,000 passengers on board.
The "Mein Schiff 5" will set sail from Heraklion port at 9:00 in the morning on Friday for a week-long cruise stopping at Rhodes, Piraeus and Souda, Crete.
"We have waited a long time for this moment. The ship 'Mein Schiff 5' is departing tomorrow for its first voyage of the current season. It is a moving moment, both for visitors and crew," said Wybke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises.
"We are certain that all passengers will once again enjoy the unique Greek destinations and we are very happy that we supported the process for the resumption of cruises," said Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis.