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Greece’s Tourism Season Boosted as Germany Abolishes Quarantine

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Tourists in front of one of the largest attractions in Athens, the Parthenon. Credit: Poudou99/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0

Germans who visit Greece this summer will not be required to quarantine upon their return to Germany, according to a cabinet decision on Wednesday.

As long as travelers abide by some coronavirus regulations as set out by the German government, they will not be required to quarantine when they come back from Greece – unlike in the UK, where British tourists will still have to quarantine upon arrival back home.

Germany drops quarantine for almost 100 countries

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The decision, announced on Wednesday, discontinued quarantine requirements for around 100 countries. The new regulations involved the assessment of foreign countries as to the level of coronavirus risk they pose to Germany by the federal government agency the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Areas of the world where the virus variants are still raging, including South Africa and India, are considered the “highest risk” at present, whereas countries such as the US and Greece are classified as “risk areas,” which is a lower risk level, according to the RKI.

Those entering Germany from “risk area” countries will not be required to quarantine as long as they can prove that they fall into one of three categories. In order to avoid quarantine, travelers need to show that they either have had a negative Covid-19 test, have been fully vaccinated, or have recovered from the coronavirus between 28 days and six months before travel.

Countries which are considered “high incidence risk areas,” such as France and the Netherlands will see returning travelers quarantining for 10 days on arrival back in Germany, which can be decreased to five days if the traveler takes a negative coronavirus test.

For those who have recovered from Covid-19 or are fully vaccinated, they do not need to quarantine at all.

For individuals returning to Germany from virus variant areas, a 14-day quarantine is required regardless of vaccination or recovery status.

German tourists return to Greece

The no-quarantine requirement upon return to Germany from Greece should be a very positive development for the Greek tourism sector. German tourists are vital to the Greek economy, and any encouragement for them to spend summer 2021 in Greece is beneficial.

Germans comprise the single largest market for tourism to Greece. Arrivals in the record-breaking year of 2019 were over 4 million, and revenue from those of that nationality added up to 2.96 billion euros. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Greece still received 1.526 million German tourists, who spent €1.13 billion while here.

With the opening of the tourism sector in Greece on Friday, German tourists are expected to flood into the country. The German travel company TUI has already planned a total of 120 flights to Greece by the end of May.

If the situation in Greece remains stable, Germany’s decision to end quarantine rules may be very profitable and beneficial to the vital tourism industry.

EU Vaccine passports

The Digital Green Certificate is aimed at allowing free movement within the European Union even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They will be available in both physical and digital forms and will be free for all EU residents.

The certificate will be used to show whether the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has received a negative test result or has recovered from it.

The vaccine passport will operate using unique QR codes in order to guarantee their authenticity.

These vaccine passports could help make travel between Germany and Greece even more convenient, allowing travelers to enjoy a stress-free coronavirus safe holiday.

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