On Monday, Greece began sending police officers to its islands in order to strengthen security prior to the country’s grand opening for tourism.
More than 100 police officers are being sent to Mykonos, with similar plans in the works for the islands of Santorini and Rhodes. All of the most popular Greek tourist destinations are now being prepped for the mass arrival of foreign travelers.
Police sent to islands to revamp overall security
The police forces sent to the islands are meant to revamp security on the islands — particularly when it comes to organized crime.
Burglary rings and other such forms of organized crime often sprout up on islands due to the high numbers of foreign tourists who can make easy targets for robberies. The officers sent to Mykonos are being accompanied by a new police chief who has been selected for his capabilities of running an enlarged force there.
New police departments have also been added on Mykonos in order to improve security. There is a new road safety, as well as a street policing department, which the new police chief will be tasked with overseeing.
Another important part of the expanded police force’s duties will be to crack down on illegal coronavirus parties — which unfortunately were rampant last summer.
Greece’s reopening to tourism
Residents from EU countries (the 27 member states plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and the UK), continue to be allowed into Greece.
Additionally, permanent residents of the following twelve nations are already able to visit Greece: the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Serbia, and Israel.
Those travelers who want to avoid a seven day quarantine requirement must be able to present to authorities one of two documents. They must carry either the results of a coronavirus PCR test taken within the past 72-hour period, or a public health certificate written in English guaranteeing that they have been fully inoculated.
In this case, fully vaccinated means that fourteen days have passed since their final vaccination.
However, for travelers from countries not listed above, a seven-day quarantine remains in place. Special provisions are in place for Russian travelers who can prove they both have a negative PCR test upon entry and are fully inoculated, in which case they can also skip quarantining following their arrival in Greece.
Quarantines will be done away with for the most part on May 14, when Greece plans to throw open its doors to much of the world once again, while employing the vaccine passport system which will allow passengers to avoid quarantines by verifying that they have either been vaccinated or are otherwise immune to the coronavirus.
At that time, only those who test positive for the coronavirus will have to quarantine — and even then, this most likely will have to be for just one single day, since rapid tests are now being used.
On May 15, free domestic travel between Greek regions will be allowed once again, coinciding with the launch of the tourist season.
Hotels will then surely fill up with guests, as most simply rolled last year’s cancelled bookings over into this year as a service to disappointed travelers. On the islands of Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, police forces will be increased in order to guarantee travelers a safe and secure summer.