Greeks on Friday received the grim news that their country was indeed not included on the United Kingdom’s “Green List” of countries to which travelers would not have to quarantine upon arrival back on UK soil.
The news was very unwelcome although not entirely unexpected, as UK officials had intimated earlier that Greece may not be included on the list but could be part of the “Amber” list, for which travelers would still have to quarantine upon arrival back home.
The list will be reviewed every three weeks, however, and Greek tourism officials will have to pin their hopes on inclusion at the end of the month of May.
Greek tourism officials have invested a great deal of time and effort in assuring the public that the Greek islands — which are an enormous draw for both British and German travelers, among many ohters– would be free of the virus.
Portugal only European nation on vaunted Green List
All Greek islands having less than 10,000 population recently underwent a mass vaccination campaign, with all inhabitants regardless of age eligible for inoculation, as a way to safely welcome tourists to the islands once again.
The decision of the Ministry of Transport, which was published on Friday afternoon, stated that tourists from the UK will be able to travel freely beginning on May 17 to Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.
The same list also includes small islands in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich archipelago, as well as the islands of Agia Eleni, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island.
All those traveling to the above nations and territories, will not need to be placed in compulsory quarantine when they return to the UK. The list will be revisited by the Ministry in three weeks.
All those from the UK who wish to visit their beloved holiday destinations in Greece are invited to be placed in a mandatory quarantine lasting days upon their return. This understandably places a great burden on travelers and discourages a wide swath of tourists from coming to Greece at all as it stands now.
The British market is the second most important, after Germany, for Greek tourism, since Greece attracted 3.5 million British travelers in 2019 and 1 million in 2020, generating revenues of 2.5 billion and 749 million, respectively.
When visiting a “Green list” country, UK travelers will still need to take a private Covid test at their holiday destination, before returning. This can be either a lateral flow test or a PCR test.
They must also fill in a passenger locator form online before leaving their destination and
take a private PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in England.
However, unlike all those countries on the Amber or Red lists, there is no need to quarantine on return from Green countries, or take additional tests, unless the post-arrival test is positive.