On Wednesday, Greece announced that COVID restrictions such as mask-wearing indoors and COVID certificates will be lifted for the summer tourism period. The protocols may be reinstated by September, authorities added.
Around 15,000 infections and 54 deaths were recorded on Tuesday as coronavirus infections eased. The population of 11 million has 72% fully vaccinated.
Greece’s summer tourism season usually begins after the Orthodox Easter, which falls on April 24 this year. As a result, Greece expects many visitors, with predicted revenues reaching 80% of 2019 levels before the pandemic affected travel.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris said lifting restrictions was “based on the epidemiological data and suggestions from experts.”
The public will not be required to present coronavirus vaccination or illness certificates to enter public establishments starting May 1 until August 31. Additionally, Greek officials are also discussing lifting the requirement of presenting an EU digital COVID certificate to enter Greece.
Indoor mask-wearing will no longer be mandatory as of June 1. Students will also be able to return to class after the Easter break without being required to present negative self-tests regularly.
Plevris said that all measures will be re-evaluated in September.
One of southern Europe’s most popular summer tourism destinations, Greece attracted more than 33 million visitors in 2019, mainly from Britain and Germany. The industry accounts for about a fifth of the economy and employs one in five people.
Opinions expressed by Artist Weekly contributors are their own.