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Greece Stays on UK’s Amber List for Travel, Dashing Tourism Hopes

Amber list
The Temple of Promethean Zeus from the Acropolis. Greece remained on the “Amber List” for UK travelers on Thursday. Credit: Patricia Claus/Greek Reporter

Greece remained on the United Kingdom’s “Amber List” in the newest revisiting of the travel advisory system, despite its improving coronavirus situation and its successful inoculation campaign for all island residents.

A live update from the UK states that Greece will not be included on the much-desired “Green List” of countries from which UK travelers do not have to quarantine upon their return.

No new countries anywhere in the world will be added to the Green List, according to the most recent reports on Thursday.

As of now, all UK travelers must quarantine for a total of ten days upon their arrival back in the UK after a trip to Greece, undergoing coronavirus testing upon their return and then again eight days later.

Travel to Greece, a perennial favorite for Britons for many decades, is not strictly prohibited, but is plainly discouraged.

Amber List discourages — but does not forbid — travel to Greece

Greece, despite its most stringent efforts to inoculate as many island residents and tourist workers as quickly as possible, was placed on the dreaded “Amber List” in May by UK health authorities, meaning that those who did go would have to quarantine upon arrival back home.

The UK’s “Green light” countries, with no quarantining needed, only amounted to a handful of nations across the world — and none in Europe. All the other nations were small islands scattered around the globe.

Portugal, another holiday favorite for Brits, was taken off of the UK’s Green List on Thursday.

Greece holiday plans upended for many as country still on Amber List

Due to be updated every three weeks, there was no budging on the list by the British government after the initial three weeks were up.

Despite the Amber listing, thousands of British travelers have swarmed to typical holiday destinations such as Greece and Spain after a year spent in various stages of lockdowns. Many have already arrived in the British tourist haven of Corfu.

They have not been completely banned from travel but have been discouraged from doing so, with the quarantine at the end of the holiday believed to have served as a sufficient deterrent.

Countries on the “Red list,” to which travel is expressly banned, include Bahrain, Costa Rica, Sudan, and other countries. The lists are due to be revisited again on Monday, June 7.

Greek tourist industry figures have charged that confusing travel advice, coupled with the mandatory coronavirus tests — which can cost hundreds of pounds per person — have in many cases dissuaded Brits from returning to their beloved Greece in 2021 so far.

No new countries will be added to the green list today, according to reports.

There were hopes that several Greek islands, as well as the perennial British favorite destinations of Canaries and Malta, could have been added to the government’s Green List today, raising hopes for a larger choice of vacation destinations for Brits who are itching to leave for the sunny climes of Southern Europe.

However, the red list is expected to only become larger, as a multitude of coronavirus variants continue to pop up around the globe.

“Traffic light” lists to be revisited again June 7

Greece launched an extensive campaign designed to welcome travelers back to the country, embarking on an ambitious inoculation program for everyone — regardless of age — who works in the tourist industry, and across-the-board inoculations for all island residents.

The country is continuing to undergo a vaccination program for all island residents with populations over 10,000 after a successful campaign to vaccinate all those who lived on islands with less than 10,000 residents.

New beach rules call for all sun loungers to be placed 4 meters (12 feet) apart; non sic, either live or recorded, is being played this year in public places since the music encourages people to move closer together and raise their voices, increasing the chances of exchanging coronavirus particles.

Greece has welcomed tourists since May 14, when it flung open its doors to the world again after a punishing tourism year in 2020.

In remarks last week, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood firm, saying “Our advice hasn’t changed in regards to Amber list countries.

“We have been clear that people shouldn’t be travelling to amber list countries for the purposes of holidays.”

Just the week prior, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the press that people should not travel to amber countries “except for essential reasons.”

Later this week, travel mavens believe there will be an update to the “traffic light” system in the UK, with Spanish islands, as well as Malta and Jamaica, expected to make the grade on the Green List.

However, the PC Agency’s Paul Charles states that he believes that Greece will not be included in this coveted group.

In the meantime, four additional countries will soon be placed on the “Red list” as the variants make their way across the globe, according to a report out of the UK on Tuesday.

Robert Boyle predicted British vacationers are likely to be banned from flying to Bahrain, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and Kuwait due to the Covid situation still prevalent there, acorsingto a report from Britain’s The Sun newspaper.

Spanish authorities, however, said they are still continuing to welcome British travelers despite countries — including Germany and France — banning those from the UK due to the prevalence of the Indian variant there.

 

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