Greece Lifts Quarantine Requirement for Travelers from the United States
Vacationers must have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test that was issued within the previous 72 hours before traveling
Just in time for the summer tourist season, travelers from the United States and various other countries will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival in Greece.
On Monday, the country lifted quarantine restrictions for travelers from the U.S., as well as those from the European Union, the U.K., Serbia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are part of a European travel pact, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Travelers from those countries will no longer be required to take part in a seven-day quarantine, which was previously required, as long as they have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test that was issued within the previous 72 hours, the Greek Civil Aviation Authority said, per the outlet.
These tourists, however, will still be required to follow Greece's lockdown restrictions, Reuters reported.
The AP added that visitors from the list of approved countries will be allowed entry into Greece through two border crossings and via airports in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu.
According to CNN, the restriction lifted by Greece marks the first time that the nation will allow visitors from the U.S. since the country first entered lockdown back in March 2020.
Greece's Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis told the outlet that Greece "is taking these baby steps" which will lead to "the start of a gradual opening process that will lead to a full opening of tourism in Greece on May 14."
"During the weeks ahead we will be making adjustments," he added.
Theoharis also noted that "the same rules that are in force [for Greek citizens] will apply to everyone," to keep both citizens and non-citizens alike safe as the pandemic continues.
"It's important that people understand this. We are hoping things will be more and more liberalized as the vaccination programs throughout the world progress," he said. "Even if we have changes in the other direction, those changes will apply to everyone."
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.