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MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES REOPEN FOR VACCINATED VISITORS

Nations around the Mediterranean Sea are opening one by one to either vaccinated or Covid-negative tested Europeans.

The Mediterranean is likely to become the big hit of the summer season 2021 as countries reopen their borders. Most governments considered the reopening a necessity in order to save a difficult economic situation.

Croatia

Croatia is allowing travellers from the European Union to come into the country if showing a negative test to Covid – however with a validity of less than 48 hours. Both antigenic and PCR tests are accepted. Vaccinated travellers are also allowed into the country.

France

Travellers arriving from a country within the European Economic Area can enter France as long as they have a PCR test and sworn declaration. They are not required to self-isolate.

They will need to present the following to the transport operator and border control authorities:

  • sworn declaration stating that:
    • They do not show signs of COVID-19;
    • To their knowledge, they have not been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 14 days before travel;
    • They agree to submit, if they are aged 11 years or older, to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival in France;
  • If they are aged 11 or over, a negative RT-PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.

Rules differ for cross-border workers, or residents from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United Kingdom.

Greece

Greece also announced it has dropped quarantine requirements since 14 May. Prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, voiced optimism that the situation was about to improve dramatically.

Italy

Since the middle of May – and almost a month before the official launching of the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate, Italy has fully reopened its borders to foreign travellers. Tourists who received their two injections with an EU approved vaccine or who recovered from the disease or tested negative 48 jours before arrival are allowed to enter. There will be no restrictions or quarantine. The announcement was made by Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, who declared that the country was “ready to welcome back the world”.

Only nationals from nations on a black list such as Brazil or India will be restricted from entering the country. Citizens from countries with high immunity such as the USA, the UK or Israel are however welcomed. Tour operators are starting to report a boom in bookings for the summer months. In Italy, life is coming back to normal as bars, restaurants, museums and cultural institutions again welcome the public. Last week, the world-famous Milan Scala reopened for its first performance in many months.

Italy’s tourism sector, which accounted for 14% of GDP before the pandemic, lost a total of €120.6bn in 2020, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Authorities, however, believe that tourist arrivals will reach 2019 levels only by 2023…

Heavily reliant on tourism, Greece was among the first in the European Union to relax rules for international travellers. Anyone arriving with a vaccination certificate or who tested negative to Covid-19 will not go into compulsory quarantine. Since May 10, outdoor bars and restaurants have reopened to the public.

Malta

In Malta, nationals on the “amber list” can come if they can show a negative test less than 72 hours old. The country is planning to reopen to international tourism from June 1st. it includes the reopening of English Language Schools while the use of masks on beaches and at pools, though still recommended, will not be enforced by law anymore. Restaurants can welcome up to six people per table.

Portugal

Portugal’s Ministry of Interior announced that a ban is lifted for travellers coming from European countries with less than 500 cases of infections per 100,000 people. They must however show a proof of a negative test to Covid taken up to 72 hours before departure.

These travellers can make “all types of visits to Portugal, including even non-essential visits”. However, residents of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden are still restricted to essential visits.

Spain

Spain plans to reopen for international and overseas tourists (including the USA and Israel) from June 2021. Travellers will need to show proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative COVID test. Currently, all foreign tourists need to submit a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to arrival.

Spain was among the first countries in Europe to allow restaurants, bars or museums to reopen although not at full capacity. Opening rules and restrictions also vary from one region to another as autonomous communities (regions) can take many decisions on their own.

Like in Italy, Spain is highly dependent of toruism. According to the WTTC, travel and tourism generate about 12% of the national GDP.

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