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Greece will lift its regional travel ban and reopen services that cater to tourists on May 15.

News of the Mediterranean nation’s phased reopening came straight from a televised address made by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

The selected date for the lifted travel ban and resumed tourism sector will take place 13 days after Orthodox Easter (May 2).

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“Our goal is to have a safe Easter and a free summer. But one cannot undermine the other,” Mitsotakis reportedly said during his address.

However, the Associated Press reports he also said restaurants and cafes will be allowed reopen areas for outdoor dining starting on Monday, May 3.

Greece will lift its regional travel ban and reopen services that cater to tourists on May 15, 2021. (iStock)

Travel requirements for international visitors have yet to be updated, according to Greece’s government portal gov.gr.

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Guidelines were last updated on April 19, which require negative coronavirus PCR tests at least 72 hours before arrival. Alternatively, a valid vaccine certificate can be presented instead, but it must prove a person was fully vaccinated for the novel coronavirus at least 14 days ahead of their arrival. In cases where vaccination does not meet the two week minimum, the PCR test must be done.

People who recovered from the coronavirus 90 days ahead of their arrival will be allowed to enter the country, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Greece.

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Thus far, quarantining is not required for tourists who arrive from the U.S, U.K, European Union’s Schengen Area, Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore and Russia.

Coronavirus PCR tests or vaccine certificates will be required for entry into Greece, according to travel guidelines that were put in place on April 19, 2021. (iStock)

Travel authorities in Greece also advise non-EU residents to choose direct flights when arranging their visit. Entry will only be allowed through nine airports in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Chania, Mykonos and Santorini.

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Coronavirus-related health and safety orders are still in effect, including curfews, protective face masks in public areas and a prohibition on large gatherings, the U.S. Embassy reports.

According to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard, Greece has roughly 334,430 confirmed cases of coronavirus compared to the U.S.’s 32.1 million.

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The first and second wave of COVID-19 has severely hurt Greece’s tourism industry and GDP, according to economic research conducted by Ernst & Young Global.

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