Theocharis: Greece has comprehensive and mature plan to keep tourists safe

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Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis on Tuesday outlined the measures that Greece will be taking to ensure the health safety of tourists and local residents this summer, during a morning news programme on the UK's Sky News.

He also expressed his expectation that Greece will soon be added to the UK's list of 'green' destinations, where travellers do not have to self-isolate on their return to the UK, when this is next reassessed.

Theocharis said that he was in London for talks with government officials in order to make sure that both sides understand how their respective systems function and to assure them that Britons will be safe in Greece.

The minister said that an effort will be made to explain everything while expressing certainty that Greece was past the peak and was now seeing a decline of the third wave of the pandemic, just like the rest of Europe.

He agreed that trust was essential for tourism and those that choose to travel to Greece, highlighting the importance of cooperation on a European level and "even more widely."

Theocharis highlighted that Greece had shown leadership in this cooperation and in its practical implementation.

"We were the first country to implement last year a digital-only passenger locator form and have machine learning at our borders," he said.

"We were awarded the Global Award of Excellence for the kinds of systems we had in place last year and we are now using even more tools that we have at our disposal," the minister pointed out, noting that the vaccine programme was now forging ahead.

Theocharis noted that Greece has quarantine hotels, that people will be tested often, and there are the prerequisites before travel - a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test taken no older than 72 hours before arriving in Greece.

Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis. Britons welcome to holiday in Greece with or without vaccine, minister says | Reuters
Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis.

"This means that we have a comprehensive, mature and professional plan for ensuring the health safety of our citizens and, of course, anyone that comes to Greece," he added, noting that this was the "recipe for our success, if you like, in dealing with the pandemic".

Asked whether the fact that Greece was on the 'amber' list in the UK traffic-light system might deter some Britons from holidaying there, Theocharis pointed out that the lists will be revised every three weeks.

Theocharis also expressed confidence that Greece will be added to the 'green' list at the next revision.

READ MORE: Tourism Minister Theocharis: Greece is one of the best prepared tourist destinations.