Greece is to throw open its borders from next week to visitors who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative, in promising signs for British tourists hoping to book a holiday. It is encouraging news for Britons yearning for an Aegean break, even though there is a ban on non-essential international travel until May 17 at the earliest. Whether British tourists have to quarantine on their return home will depend on how Greece is classified under the traffic light system that will be announced by the government at some point in early May. The government has said that Britons should not book holidays yet because of the uncertainty of which countries will be green, amber and red. Current regulations state that all foreigners arriving in Greece have to show negative tests and then quarantine for seven days. But the Greek government plans to lift quarantine restrictions for travelers from the UK and the European Union as well as the US, Israel, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. It comes as the country aims to open up to tourism from mid-May. "We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14," a senior tourism ministry official told Reuters. Visitors from Britain and the other countries will be allowed to fly in to the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu. Travelers will not have to go into quarantine as long as they prove that they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine or show a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to their arrival. On arrival, however, they will be subject to local lockdown rules – a resurgence in cases over the winter means that Greece has been under tight restrictions for months. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister, has strongly pushed the idea of Covid certificates as a way of kick-starting international travel this summer. That is crucial for Greece, where tourism accounts for a fifth of the economy. Meanwhile, Malta is holding bilateral talks with the UK about a digital coronavirus certificate that would allow British tourists to visit this summer, the country’s tourism minister said.