Greece is about to reopen for international travelers, and they’re offering some financial incentives that are making the idea of a summer trip to their Mediterranean shores even more appealing.
In May, Greece’s prime minister announced a reduction in transportation taxes that includes flights into and out of the country, which should translate into lower airfares this summer. And with the country temporarily slashing its value-added tax (VAT) on all transportation from 26% to 13%, it will be cheaper for tourists to move about the country once they arrive as well.
If the lower VAT isn’t enough of a temptation, Greece’s low coronavirus rates might make some travelers take a second look at the country as a relatively safe destination. Thanks to its speedy response, Greek health officials were reporting fewer than 3,000 cases of COVID-19 and fewer than 200 deaths two months into the pandemic, according to CNN Travel.
Right now, non-essential travel to Greece from outside of the European Union is banned, and the country has mandatory testing and quarantine in place upon arrival. That will change on June 15, when international flights to Athens and Thessaloniki will resume. At this time, testing will only be mandatory for those arriving from a list of high-risk countries — which includes the U.S.
Under the current policy, upon arrival, visitors from the U.S. will have to take a test and quarantine overnight in a designated hotel, then self-isolate for a week or quarantine under supervision for two weeks, depending on the results. All of Greece’s airports will reopen for international travel on July 1, and the country’s foreign ministry says they’ll announce later whether they’ll lift those restrictions for visitors from high-risk countries at that time.
The Greek government also said it’s giving its healthcare operations at popular tourist destinations a boost.
Tourism represents a significant slice of Greece’s economy — more than 20% of the nation’s GDP. One in four jobs are in the tourism industry.
So, what do you think? Is it too early to book that trip to Santorini?
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