The lyrically named Haris Theoharis brings good news to us lockdown travellers… the carrot of summer holidays to Greece.
The Greek Tourism minister spoke to our public rather than at them like our politicians do when he spoke on British radio this week.
And Haris echoed what I’ve been saying for weeks…
“We don’t want to limit travel to those who have been vaccinated of course, but since we are mandating that before travelling someone has to have a negative test result, this is a waste of resources if people are vaccinated, to be tested every time they travel, the need for this testing could be limited by the vaccination certificate,” he said.
All of which makes perfect sense.
All arrivals into Greece have to present a negative Covid test taken within a 72-hour window, while arrivals from the UK have to undergo a rapid test on arrival as well.
Having bought and then undergone a home test before travelling to the European Covid gateway of Bergamo in the Autumn I can verify that this is best practice.
And guess what, I wore my masks, cleaned my hands, kept my social distance just like all the other Bergamaschi and returned with barely a germ.
Of course, I’m not holding my breath that we will be allowed what is our right, not a privilege, to be able to travel.
But when we do, and if initially it is only Greece, then I’m mighty glad it is as I could travel this ancient country all my days. Just like Odysseus.
The year 2021 is a very special one too for the Greeks as it is the bicentennial of the 1821 Revolution which saw them extricate themselves from the Ottoman Empire.
It is just the Greeks’ bad luck, and they have had plenty of that in recent years, that the bicentennial should fall during a pandemic.
But these stoical (it is a Greek root and concept) people of ancient stock have been ploughing on regardless and will mark March 25 with pride and as much ceremony as they can.
Pick your venue
When we do get up and travelling again you’ll find me somewhere on Greece.
Be it Athens, one of its islands, Kythera, the second city Thessaloniki, or any of the other islands (Corfu was our honeymoon island).
And when I do, of course, I will be contacting one my go-to providers, my old faithfuls TUI who are promoting holidays there from £188pp.
You know the story by now of me starting off my scribblinh career with the old Thomson Regional Newspapers which was an arm of their travel business.
No training or skill goes to waste. But I still have to master my Zorba dancing and I know where to go to to practise.
Aer Lingus flies to Miami. Visit www.aerlingus.com. We found a return trip Dublin to Miami from €457.63.
See you in Tenerife
I’m counting down the days to my trip to Tenerife in September.
Travel Department has a Tenerife Coast & Cuntry seven-night full-board guided holiday.
Excursions will include a full-day guided tour of the highlights of the island, a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage colonial city of La Laguna and a visit to Mount Teide National Park.
Prices start from €659pp for seven nights including return flights, full-board 4* hotel accommodation, all transfers and fully-guided excursions with an expert local guide, departing regularly from September – November 2019.