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Tourism

Greece Opens to Israelis with COVID-19 Vaccines, Negative Tests

ATHENS — Aiming for a broader reopening of tourism on May 15 to help an economy battered by lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, Greece is beginning by allowing visitors from Israel.

That will be limited though to those who can show proof of being vaccinated or a negative test that they don’t have the Coronavirus, which also means they wouldn’t have to quarantine for a week, which would keep people away.

Greece’s civil aviation agency said that the travelers must have been inoculated at least two weeks prior to entry or that their negative PCR test was completed three days prior as well to avoid quarantine, said Reuters.

The new rule will be in force until April 5, it said, while travelers from the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates must also show negative tests and would nevertheless have a seven-day quarantine at least.

It wasn’t said why anyone would then come to Greece if they can’t leave their place of stay for a week, which effectively prohibits trips shorter than that and would cut deep into longer vacations.

Israel has administered two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than half its population, the Health Minister said, the highest rate in the world and whic has helped roll back the pandemic.

The EU and Greece have lagged, with the bloc wanting unanimous consensus for all actions but Greece sidestepped that, as did Cyprus, to make a side deal with Israel, not wanting to wait to get visitors.

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