Greece could be added to the UK’s “Green List,” otherwise known as a no-quarantine list, soon, according to the UK’s ambassador to Greece, who spoke about the matter on Tuesday.
In a webinar conference on tourism and security, Kate Smith appeared optimistic that the UK could update its “traffic light” system, moving Greece from an “Amber” country to a “Green” nation.
Greece could get “Green” light soon
The conference at which Smith spoke on the UK travel guidelines was organized by the Ministry of Civil Protection and the Hellenic Police, with the support of the British Embassy.
The conference focused on tourism through the lens of tourist safety, and a number of encouraging statistics, including data on crime reduction, were discussed.
Smith also outlined the UK’s traffic light system, which is reviewed every three weeks — allowing countries to move from one status to another, depending on updated coronavirus statistics.
She continued by stating that Greece has a high chance of moving from the UK’s amber list to the green list “soon,” but did not elaborate on whether she believed this change would occur during the next UK government review of the list.
Greece’s Minister of Tourism, Harry Theocharis, echoed her confidence and highlighted that the country’s reopening to tourism has gone extremely well as coronavirus cases continue to decline steadily despite people continuing to travel into Greece.
“We should be proud of the fact that Greece has a plan and implements it,” said Theocharis of the current coronavirus situation in the world tourist hotspot.
Tiered traffic light system
The UK government has issued a tiered list of countries, ranging from good-to-go “Green list” countries all the way to “Red list” countries, which should not be visited at all unless travel is unavoidable.
Green list countries will require travelers to test negative before returning to the UK, as well as undergo a PCR test two days after arrival; however, they will not involve a quarantine for travelers when they arrive back in the UK.
The decision of the UK’s Ministry of Transport stated that tourists from the UK are only able to travel freely to Gibraltar, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands as of now.
The same list also includes small islands in the South Georgia and the South Sandwich archipelago, as well as the tiny islands of Agia Eleni, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island.
Portugal was originally on the green list, the only European destination to have the coveted position, but has since been removed during a routine review of the traffic light system.
Amber light nations will require 10 days of isolation upon travelers’ return to the UK. Vacationers will also need a negative test before their return flight and two PCR tests after arrival — one on day two and the second on day eight.
In this tier, there is also the option to take a PCR test on day five of quarantine in order to be allowed to exit quarantine early, which could be a relief for British travelers returning from Greece.
Unfortunately, Greece and its islands have been placed on the Amber list despite hopes that islands could be considered separately from the mainland for Green status.
Furthermore, the UK has stressed that ministers expect even Amber list countries to be treated as not viable options for vacation.
“It is very, very clear – you should not be going to an ‘Amber list’ country except for some extreme circumstance, such as the serious illness of a family member. You should not be going to an ‘Amber list’ country on holiday,” said Boris Johnson during the Prime Minister’s Question Time on May 19.