Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced on Friday that new measures will be implemented to address the influx of coronavirus cases along Greece’s northern border.
The statement comes following health officials’ recording a total 29 new Covid-19 cases at the gate at the Promachonas border point, which connects Greece to Bulgaria, on Friday, July 10.
According to Skai TV, the report comes after dozens more detections of past Covid-19 cases in travelers who desired to cross into Greece.
During the teleconference, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed that “no relaxation is allowed,” saying that the country’s primary concern is the safety of both visitors and citizens.
Related subjects, including strict adherence to health protocols, the installation of an operation control panel, and the tightening of border checkpoint measures were also discussed at the meeting.
Government spokesman Petsas went into more detail regarding the new measures, saying that beginning on Tuesday, July 14, at 6:00 am, anyone who crosses the border for non-essential reasons will be obligated to show that they had received negative Covid-19 test results 72 hours before entry.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis also echoed these renewed calls for added restrictions, insisting that stricter implementation of health rules and additional protective measures at Greece’s northern borders is needed.
Earlier this week, the country had closed its borders to travelers from Serbia, after the Balkan nation experienced an increase in outbreaks, with large numbers of cases being reported.
Currently, tourists from both Bulgaria and Romania are continuing to test positive for Covid-19, as more cases are reported at Promachonas. As these new measures are implemented, the country will be watching carefully to assure that there are no further outbreaks.
The obligation for travelers to complete an online PLF form also still remains in effect, with the minimum time to complete it being reduced from 48 to 24 hours before arrival in Greece. This will create a unique QR code for eery traveler, alerting authorities to the likelihood that a certain traveler needs to be tested.
The National Transparency Authority, the General Secretariat for Trade and Consumer Affairs, and the police will be conducting over 300 inspections throughout Greece by Sunday, July 12, in order to strengthen compliance with the new health protocols.
Petsas concluded Friday’s press conference by saying “the government is constantly evaluating the epidemiological data and making its decisions, taking into account the protection of public health.”
Other notable attendees at the meeting included Greece’s Minister of Civil Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis, Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the Minister of Health Vassilis Kikilias, and Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos.