The Brits Make it For Greek Islands After Jabs

At least a dozen Greek islands popular with British holidaymakers – including Hydra, Skyros and Mamma Mia film location Skopelos – will be fully vaccinated within the next fortnight.

In a bid to lure back travellers, the Greek government has launched ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ to inoculate everyone on its 200-plus occupied islands by the end of June.

Greek political leaders have promised that tourist favourites such as Rhodes, Kos and Santorini will be prioritised for vaccines, heaping pressure on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to move the islands from the ‘amber’ travel list.

Last week, Germans were given the go-ahead to book beach holidays in the country without having to quarantine on return. But Brits still face restrictions when travelling there, despite coronavirus rates on some islands dropping to zero.

Thirty-two of the islands are fully vaccinated, and destinations such as Corfu – which 500,000 Britons flock to each year – are calling up people in their early 40s for their jabs. Another 36 islands will reach full inoculation by the end of this month, including Spetses, Poros and Milos – which recorded a single Covid covid infection yesterday.

Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis last week hailed the vaccine programme as ‘a model for pandemic management’ and said he expected the country to be on the UK’s green list – allowing travel with fewer restrictions – by June.

Steve Heapy, chief executive of budget airline Jet2, said he believed the British Government would ditch its ‘blanket’ approach to travel advice this summer and opt for a ‘targeted approach’.

Meanwhile, Ryanair was yesterday offering May flights from Manchester to Porto, Portugal, for £9.99 – with the return costing the same. The country is on the Government’s green list for travel.

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