Greece to ease Covid travel restrictions before summer holidays

Vaccine passport rules to be eased from May, mask rules from June

Lucy Thackray
Monday 25 April 2022 15:28 BST
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Greece is set to further ease its Covid-related travel restrictions on 1 May, the country’s tourist board has confirmed - just in time for the summer holiday season.

On 12 April, health minister Thanos Plevris said that pandemic conditions had stabilised in the country, and they would be able “to proceed with the suspension of the protection measures put in place from 1 May.”

Though many took this to mean a simplification of entry requirements, a source from Marketing Greece tells The Independent that is not the case.

“There has been a misunderstanding on this and it has been falsely reproduced. As of 1 May, no proof of vaccination or recovery will be required to enter any indoor and outdoor venues.

“Based on the information that we currently have, it will still be required to show vaccination or recovery certificate to enter the country.”

At present, anyone without a certificate of full vaccination or proof of recent recovery must show a negative PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival, to enter Greece.

During early summer, they say, the authorities will reflect on whether to ease these remaining requirements for foreign arrivals. “Within the next period, the government will examine the possibility of lifting that restriction as well, and in this case an official announcement will be made,” adds the source.

The requirement to wear masks - in indoor public places and outdoor places where it is hard to socially distance - will remain until at least 1 June.

Speaking in a TV interview, Mr Plevris emphasised that the removal of the domestic vaccine passport and eventually masks are a suspension rather than a final removal, which will run until 1 September. He said that the new rules would be reviewed after summer.

Greece had already shown some signs of relaxing its rules for visitors, scrapping its passenger locator form on 15 March, as well as extending the validity of visitors’ vaccine passes to nine months on 1 April.

Until further notice, arrivals to Greece must still show either: proof of two jabs; proof of recovery from Covid within the past 180 days; or a negative PCR test (within 72 hours) or antigen test (24 hours) result in order to enter the country.

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