The change is the result of an increase in coronavirus infections in the cluster of 13 southern Aegean islands, which include Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes – which typically attract millions of people each summer.
This means anything but an essential trip to and from this region of Greece is discouraged.
Greece had bet on promises ” COVID-free ”to attract visitors this summer in hopes of reviving its vital tourism industry after its worst year for decades in 2020.
Despite a large number of arrivals in June, uncertainty remains as to how the season will unfold.
“We are waiting to see how the (tourist) markets react,” said Manolis Markopoulos, president of the Rhodes Hotel Association, where more than 90% of tourists are foreigners.
Greece was forced to impose a week-long curfew and a music ban on its party island Mykonos after infections spiked earlier this month.
In June, the Bank of Greece said it would take two to three years for travel and spending to return to the record levels of 2019, when Greece welcomed more than 33 million tourists and 18 billion euros (15 billion pounds) in revenue. He predicted that this year’s revenue would be 40% of 2019.
Germany and Great Britain are the main sources of visitors to Greece.
Greece and its islands are on the UK’s orange list, which means those arriving from the country must have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to avoid the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days.
Dark red areas on the ECDC map help distinguish very high risk areas and also help EU member states comply with rules requiring testing on departure and quarantine on return.
Last week he demoted Crete, Greece’s largest island and another popular destination, to the dark red zone.