Greece tightens travel rules as UK tourists need PCR test to enter: ‘It’s a health fee’

France travel ban: Simon Calder outlines details

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The country has tightened its travel rules as the Omicron variant strikes fear across the globe. Currently, international tourists can enter Greece with proof of vaccination.

The new rules will come into effect from 6am local time on Sunday December 19 for international tourists.

Even double-jabbed tourists will be subject to the new rules and they apply to everyone over 12.

The restrictions stipulated that tourists needed to provide a negative PCR result taken within 48 hours of arrival.

The Greek Health Ministry said that stricter measures were needed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

From January, Greek residents and expats will need to pay the Government £85 per month if they are unvaccinated.

Those aged over 60 who are unvaccinated will be required to pay the fee to the Government.

Greece has struggled to get its population vaccinated and hopes the measure will encourage people to get jabbed.

The Greek Prime Minister said: “It is not a punishment, I would say it’s a health fee.”

Italy and Portugal also require British tourists to take a test before arrival even if they are fully vaccinated.

The Portuguese Prime Minister said: “It doesn’t matter how successful the vaccination was, we must be aware we are entering a phase of greater risk.

“We have seen significant growth (in cases) in the EU and Portugal is not an island.”

The UK scrapped its travel red list this week but still requires passengers to take a pre-departure test.

France will close its borders to UK tourists from Saturday in strict measures to combat the Omicron variant.

British people will only be allowed to travel to France if they have a compelling reason.

They will have to self-isolate for seven days but can be released if they test negative after 48 hours.

The World Health Organization previously said: “Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.

“In addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivizing countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data.”

Greece is one of the UK’s top tourist destinations and ‘Greece travel rules’ was the most Googled destination in 2021.

Data released by Google showed that Greece was the top searched destination during the pandemic.

British tourists should check the UK Government website before travelling as restrictions can change rapidly.

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