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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsGreece, EU Scrap Covid Test for Travelers with European Certificate

Greece, EU Scrap Covid Test for Travelers with European Certificate

Greece covid test travelers
Greece and the EU have scrapped mandatory coronavirus tests for travelers who hold a valid European vaccination certificate. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece announced on Friday that entry into the country will be allowed without a mandatory test for travelers who hold a European vaccination certificate.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris stated to public broadcaster ERT that, as of next Monday, February 7, “entrance to Greece for those that have a valid European (COVID-19 vaccination) certificate will happen without a mandatory test.”

Scrapping Covid test for travelers will help tourism in Greece

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias hailed the decision of the Ministry of Health as a step to strengthen the tourist flows to the country, as the move makes it easier for potential travelers to plan their trip to Greece.

“Our country is preparing this year to welcome the visitors of the summer season from March 1, earlier than in any other year. Greek tourism has shown remarkable resilience in the past two years, sending a strong message of safety to travelers in our country and it will do the same this year,” Kikilias said.

The vaccination certificates have granted people the right to travel freely and safely within the European Union despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of February 1, 2022, there are new rules in place that establish a binding acceptance period of nine months for vaccination certificates, used for travel within the EU.

EU rules for travelers with European Covid Certificate

EU member states must now accept vaccination certificates for a period of 9 months following the administration of the last dose of the primary vaccination. For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this means 270 days from the first and only shot. For a two-dose vaccine it means 270 days from the second shot, or, in line with the vaccination strategy of the member state, the first and only shot after having recovered from the virus.

According to a press release by the EU Commission, member states should not provide for a different acceptance period for the purposes of travel within the European Union. The standard acceptance period does not apply to certificates for booster doses.

These rules apply only to the vaccination certificates used for the purpose of travel in the EU. Member states may apply different rules when using the EU Digital COVID Certificate in a domestic context but are invited to align with the acceptance period set at the EU level.

A person who has a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate should in principle not be subject to additional restrictions, such as tests or quarantine, regardless of their place of departure in the EU.

Persons without an EU Digital COVID Certificate should be allowed to travel based on a test carried out prior to or after arrival. In addition, they might be required to undergo quarantine/self-isolation when they arrive from particularly affected (dark red) areas.

Any measures restricting free movement must be non-discriminatory and proportionate. Member states should, in principle, not refuse entry to persons traveling from other member states, the European Commission says.

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