Greece is to suspend all remaining Covid-related travel restrictions on 2 May 2022, in time for its peak summer tourist season. Although the suspension of restrictions is good news for the Greek travel industry, governmental authorities need to exercise some caution. The tourism industry in Greece has received a welcome boost thanks to the suspension of the remaining travel restrictions, making travel to and from the country much easier, especially with peak tourism season right around the corner.

Greeks are becoming less apprehensive about the pandemic

According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 and Q4 Global Consumer Surveys, which focus on consumer attitudes toward Covid-19, Greek respondents are becoming less apprehensive about the pandemic. In Q4, 6% of respondents stated they were ‘not concerned’, and a further 19% said they were only ‘slightly concerned.’ Whereas in Q1, only 4% and 16% expressed the same sentiment, respectively. These results show that in less than a year, opinion is gradually shifting toward a more positive outlook with regard to the pandemic. As such, Greek residents and businesses are more likely to be open to the idea of welcoming more inbound tourists. This is in part attributed to the large-scale vaccine roll-out, with 76% of the population having received the first dose, and 72% receiving the second dose, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Easing of restrictions signals a shift back to pre-pandemic travel

Greece’s Minister for Health, Thanos Plevris, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had stabilised in Greece, allowing the country to proceed with the suspension of the protection measures, emphasising that the measures were being only suspended, not abolished, and that the rules would be reviewed in September. This has the potential to be positive for the Greek tourism industry, with other countries in Europe still maintaining their own unique set of travel restrictions. As a result, this move could enable Greece to gain an early competitive advantage over its European counterparts.

Travellers will no longer be required to take a pre-travel test, quarantine, or provide proof of vaccination to enter the country. On the ground, visitors will no longer have to wear masks in indoor spaces, such as hotel lobbies, or show vaccine certificates to gain entry to specific venues.

Balance is key for Greece’s tourism industry recovery

Although the suspension of restrictions is good news for the Greek travel industry, governmental authorities need to exercise some caution and ensure contingency plans are in place. Measures to be removed include vaccine certificates, recovery certificates, and the requirement to wear masks in indoor public areas from next month. However, with the threat of future Covid-19 variants, backup plans must be put in place. Moving forwards, it will be a balancing act for authorities as the world learns to live with the disease.

Communication and collaboration with travel and tourism companies across Greece is essential. Nevertheless, Greece’s suspension of travel restrictions could potentially make 2022’s summer tourism season a pivotal season for the Greek tourism industry.

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