Greece to scrap quarantine for tourists who are vaccinated or test negative

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Greece is planning to lift quarantine restrictions from next week for travellers from the UK despite holidaymakers not being allowed to go abroad until at least May 17.

The popular holiday hotspot is planning to remove the restrictions for people from the UK, EU states and four other countries who have been vaccinated or test negative for Covid-19.

Brits will not be able to take advantage of the easing until at least May 17 when restrictions on international travel are set to be lifted according to the government roadmap.

A senior tourism ministry official said: "We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14."

Citizens from the European Union, the US, UK, Serbia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates will be allowed to travel to Greece via a number of airports and two border crossings.

Passengers from those countries will not be quarantined, as long as they prove that they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine or show a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

Tourists will still be subject to domestic lockdown restrictions in Greece.

Foreign travel for Brits will not be possible until at least May 17, the earliest possible date for the next relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

Last week Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said holidays abroad will be allowed this summer and a green list of approved countries is due to be released within the next few weeks.

A “traffic light” system will divide nations into red, amber and green lists allowing different levels of travel, with testing and quarantine.

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The announcement comes as Brussels has said it wants vaccine passports, or Digital Green Certificates, to be rolled out across the EU by June 21.

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders told MEPs on Tuesday vaccine passport trials should be launched in all countries in the bloc between now and early June.

He said: "The commission is working very hard to ensure large vaccination coverage of the European population to prevent discrimination of individuals who are not yet vaccinated.

"The proposal regulates not only the insurance verification and acceptance of an interoperable vaccination certificate but also a test certificate and certificate for a person who has recovered from Covid-19."

Vaccine passport plans have been widely criticised for their potential to discriminate against people who cannot, or do not want to, be inoculated.

The UK is set to roll out pilot schemes later this month.

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