Greece, at long last, will reopen its famed restaurants, tavernas and cafes on Monday, May 3, after a lockdown that was imposed in November of 2020. Poised to fling open its borders to international tourists as of May 15, the country is gradually reopening many of its services and businesses prior to that time in a “soft opening” to work out any glitches that might occur.
In an interview with ANT1 TV on Monday, Secretary-General of Commerce and Consumer Protection Panagiotis Stampoulidis commended the recent stabilization in coronavirus rates in the country and the attention the public has paid to the strict observance of the lockdown measures.
“Consumers were careful (in observing the health measures) over the past few days… because we have all understood that we are at a critical point and the market must remain open,” he stated.
Stampoulidis went on to state that not only are self tests now available to companies and employees, but the platform for those who are of working age is also due to open soon, leading to many Greeks becoming fully vaccinated in the near future.
Greece to reopen without need to send SMS to government
As of May 3, he reiterated, Greek citizens will be able to once again frequent their favorite restaurants, cafes, and bars, as long as they use outdoor tables. Stampoulidis said that citizens will not have to send an SMS to visit these establishments and all inter-municipal movements will be allowed beginning on Monday as well.
Service for seated restaurant, cafe, and bar customers will close at 11:00 PM but all such establishments can continue operating for delivery and take-out services after that time.
Tourist season due to begin in Greece
Citizens from the European Union, the United States, Britain, Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates will be allowed to travel to Greece via the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu, and two border crossings from mid-May, when the tourist season of 2021 will kick-start in Greece.
Passengers from those countries will not be quarantined, as long as they prove that they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or show a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to their arrival, the official said, adding the tourists would be subject to domestic lockdown restrictions.
Under current rules, all foreigners arriving in Greece should test negative and quarantine for seven days.
For passengers from Britain and the United Arab Emirates, a second mandatory test is also required upon their arrival.