Greece will scrap many remaining COVID-19-related travel restrictions next week, making it the latest country to plan to revert to pre-pandemic life.
Starting on May 2nd, travelers to Greece will not be required to show proof of vaccination, and testing requirements at airports will be scrapped, regardless of vaccination status.
The decision to drop travel rules comes more than a month after Greece eliminated the need to fill out a passenger locator form before traveling.
Greece, which reopened its borders to tourism in May 2021, currently welcomes travelers from the United States but requires them to either show proof of vaccination (with a booster shot if it has been more than 9 months since the final dose of their initial vaccine series); show proof they have contracted COVID-19 and recovered within 6 months; or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their arrival). This applies to all travelers 5 years old and older.
Currently, face masks must also be worn indoors, but Minister of Health Thanos Plevris has said they will no longer be required, although there will be some exceptions, starting in June.
Travel to Greece to be reviewed on September 1st
“According to the epidemiological data and the suggestions of the experts, we are announcing the roadmap for the de-escalation of the measures against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Plevris said in a statement earlier this month, adding “All measures will be reviewed on September 1, depending on the picture of the pandemic.”
At workplaces, meanwhile, staff will only be required to take one rapid test a week from the current two, a measure also starting on May 1st.
The minister also announced that restrictions on occupancy rates at places like restaurants, shops, and sports venues are being lifted until August 31st when all the measures will be reviewed.
The easing of COVID-19-related restrictions comes as Greece is preparing for the summer season when a record number of tourists are expected to visit the country.
Greece now joins several other European countries in easing pandemic-related restrictions, including the Netherlands and France, which have each eliminated pre-arrival testing for vaccinated visitors, as well as some countries that have taken it a step further, dropping COVID-19-related rules altogether like the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland.
COVID-19 infections, deaths
Greece confirmed 8,413 new coronavirus infections in the last 48 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Easter Monday.
There have also been 66 deaths recorded in the last 48 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 28,933. Of these, 95.5 percent had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.
A total of 279 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Of the total, 151 are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated, and 128 are fully vaccinated.