Want to get away? Greece is letting tourists back in

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis says the country's reopening plan is a "complete system that has five levels of protection for everyone." He speaks with CNN's Julia Chatterley about the protocols.

Posted: Apr 21, 2021 12:31 AM
Updated: Apr 21, 2021 12:31 AM

Although the Covid-19 pandemic continues, Greece says it is open for tourism.

Greece has lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers and those testing negative for Covid-19 from key tourism markets, including Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, in what officials called "baby steps" on the road back to normality.

First Move's Julia Chatterley spoke to Harry Theoharis, Greece's tourism minister, Tuesday.

A lot of countries grappling with how to handle tourism. Greece being bold about this.

Theoharis: Well, yes. Up to a point. It's a complete system that has five levels of protection for everyone. This is not just about the vaccination, it's about testing before you leave in case you're not vaccinated. It's about targeted testing when you arrive and of course isolation if you or your family -- if you are positive. It's protocols, masks, other things that we are used to by now. You have to keep social distancing, etc.

If you've been vaccinated with the Chinese vaccine, if you've been vaccinated with the Russian vaccine, does that still qualify for entry?

Theoharis: Yes, it does qualify for entry. It effectively means that you can skip the pre-departure test that you have to perform otherwise. That's the difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated.

Even though those vaccines aren't approved or authorized in Europe, Greece is saying, "Look, it's good enough for us?"

Theoharis: It's good enough for the risk-based approach we're taking. The risk-based approach is on an individual basis and not on a regional basis or a country basis so we've weighed in with our doctors. Based on our health experts' advice, the risk is minimal.

Greece is trail blazing here. A lot of nations are struggling to decide how to rock-break. Help us understand the rules that will apply to tourists.

Theoharis: A tourist's life is as important to us as a citizen's life. The same rules that are in force [for Greek citizens] will apply to everyone. We do not discriminate in any way whatsoever. So 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. Even if we have changes in the other direction, those changes will apply to everyone.

What's it going to be like as a tourist?

Theoharis: Well, let me say, by the 14th of May where we were going to have the formal opening of tourism season, restaurants will be open, especially outdoor parts of the restaurants. We already have the other sides open. People have to wear masks. This is not a normal summer. Those restrictions still apply. You can still enjoy the outside. You can do hiking. You can enjoy the beach where you don't need to wear a mask. You can enjoy those things, but we still need to keep your distance. We still need to be, you know, cautious about how we move about.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
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Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
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Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
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Henry8252153
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Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
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Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
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Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524169

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1646591696
Cuyahoga1468932459
Hamilton1056051431
Montgomery742551279
Summit620221111
Lucas56539917
Butler51696718
Stark468601064
Lorain35783585
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Clermont28271330
Lake27179448
Delaware24263164
Licking24027294
Trumbull22993561
Fairfield22438247
Greene22414326
Medina22149313
Clark19920354
Richland18643292
Portage18073252
Wood17505224
Allen16054279
Miami15627306
Muskingum14890185
Columbiana14153274
Wayne13852271
Tuscarawas12777311
Marion12016180
Scioto11497162
Pickaway11386142
Erie10951184
Ross10614203
Ashtabula9809204
Lawrence9783153
Hancock9741155
Belmont9333209
Geauga9008157
Jefferson8600199
Huron8427143
Union822259
Washington8114144
Sandusky7875151
Athens779579
Knox7766144
Darke7695158
Seneca7405145
Ashland6993130
Auglaize681799
Shelby6540115
Brown640091
Crawford6292130
Defiance6241105
Mercer617893
Fulton605196
Highland602899
Guernsey596371
Madison595678
Logan594596
Clinton585193
Preble5730125
Putnam5354110
Williams530888
Perry519863
Champaign514273
Jackson512473
Ottawa490586
Coshocton488383
Morrow460558
Pike435067
Fayette430363
Hardin420780
Gallia419367
Adams417995
Van Wert374082
Henry366972
Holmes3653125
Hocking357582
Wyandot325262
Carroll304365
Paulding280747
Meigs267251
Monroe216254
Noble201247
Morgan194333
Harrison182646
Vinton167225
Unassigned05
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