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Greece set to take summer mask break

Greece is set to experience a summer reminiscent of the pre-Covid era as no certificates or tests will be required for access to shops and general activities while mask use will be only required in very specific places as of June 1, according to Health Minister Thanos Plevris, who said the decision to ease restrictions was “based on the epidemiological data and suggestions from experts.”

More specifically, the obligation to present certificates of vaccination or disease recovery or a negative test for access to indoor or outdoor areas is to be lifted between May 1 and August 31.

What’s more, as of May 1, the regular self-testing schedule for school pupils will be abolished, while the rapid tests that the unvaccinated have to take to access their workplaces will be reduced to one per week.

In addition, from May 1 until August 31, capacity and operation of all spaces will return to 100%.

As for the lifting of the mask use obligation, the only exceptions to the measure will be on all means of public transport (buses, trains, ships – indoors – and airplanes), where it will be mandatory.

Additional exceptions – such as for example at care facilities for seniors – will be clarified in relevant joint ministerial decisions to be issued in due course.

Plevris said the lifting of the requirement for travelers to present the European Digital Covid-19 Certificate for entry into the country will be examined in the immediate future, while the protocol regarding contact with a confirmed case in the school environment will be updated.

In any case, the epidemiological picture of the country will be re-evaluated on September 1 to assess whether the measures will be reinstated or not.

There will be no lifting of measures for Easter, while the strong recommendation for mask use in crowded outdoor areas will remain in place.

Meanwhile, Plevris said the fine of 100 euros for unvaccinated citizens over 60 years of age will be suspended as of Friday.

Starting Wednesday, citizens aged 70 to 79 can schedule an appointment for a fourth dose of vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, while citizens aged 60 to 69 will have the same opportunity from Friday.