After some confusion on the subject, Greece has confirmed that it will drop Covid entry restrictions for all visitors from this Sunday.
his means travelers will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result upon entry.
According to officials from Marketing Greece and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), the country’s Committee of Health Experts suggested to the government that entry requirements be scrapped during a meeting on Thursday.
A government statement issued last night says: “At today’s meeting, the Committee of Experts of the Ministry of Health unanimously recommended:
- Suspension of Covid pass from May 1 and return of capacity to 100pc
- Suspension of EUDCC certificate at the country entry gates
“The proposal of the Commission is accepted by the government and the details that will be on the new Joint Ministirial Decision to [be] issued.”
From Sunday, unvaccinated visitors may enter the country without testing prior to travel – a measure Greece had kept in place for many months.
However, health minister Thanos Plevris yesterday said the rules around mask-wearing indoors may remain for longer.
When asked on TV when masks might become optional, he said: “We do not know. It is possible that the measure of wearing masks indoors might not be lifted, because the mask is a mild measure.
“What we suggest is that masks indoors will continue in May and then, based on the epidemiological picture in the country, decisions will be taken for June.”
Earlier this month, Mr Plevris had announced on TV that Covid cases had declined enough in the country to “proceded with the suspension of the protection measures put in place, from May 1.”
Many understood this to mean all remaining Covid cases, officials in the following weeks, tourism officials but indoor mask-wearing (in public spaces) would remain until at least June.
However, earlier this week tourism officials were still saying no official announcement had been made regarding entry rules being eased for holidaymakers, suggesting that there was a strong possibility the current rules would remain into May.
Now tourism organizations have confirmed the relaxation of border rules from May 1, although ministers are calling this a “suspension” for summer rather than a final end to the rules.
Mr Plevris says that mandatory mask restrictions will be reviewed before June, while the relaxed rules in general will be reviewed just before September.
At present, travelers need to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, including on public transport and in taxis.
Fully vaccinated people traveling to Greece today or tomorrow, before the May 1 rule change, will still have to have a Covid Cert ready to show at the border.
Those who aren’t fully vaccinated must show a negative PCR result from a test taken within the 72 hours before arrival. Valid proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the previous 180 days is also accepted.
Those using a vaccine certificate to enter the country must make sure their second jab is “in date” – in line with much of the EU, Greece considers second doses expired after nine months, at which point travelers must have received a booster jab to be recognized as fully vaccinated.
There is no expiry date for boosters at present.