This time it’s for real: Greece to lift entry restrictions for travelers starting May 1

Apr 28, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with details on new, loosened entry requirements.

After much speculation, Greece has confirmed it will be lifting its entry restrictions this weekend, just in time for warmer weather.

The rule changes mean that as of May 1, travelers will be able to visit the popular holiday destination without needing to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recovery certificate. However, indoor mask-wearing is set to remain in place until June 1.

Additional measures due to change include increasing capacity to 100% for certain venues and reducing the need for unvaccinated workers to take regular COVID-19 rapid tests to just once per week — with the exception of those that work in health care or with the elderly.

The news follows growing confusion after Greek health minister Thanos Plevris announced that the country would be able “to proceed with the suspension of the protection measures put in place from May 1” earlier this month.

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“[We’re] not ignoring the pandemic, but we are entering a new regularity by lifting the restrictions, although we will be ready for the autumn and another vaccination rollout,” he said, adding that restrictions would likely be reinstated in September.

Officials later clarified that this was a misunderstanding and backtracked, echoing a similar situation earlier this month when Spanish authorities wrongly announced restrictions would be dropped for unvaccinated travelers.

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“There has been a misunderstanding on this and it has been falsely reproduced,” a Marketing Greece source said at the time. “As of May 1, no proof of vaccination or recovery will be required to enter any indoor and outdoor venues.”

“Based on the information that we currently have, it will still be required to show vaccination or recovery certificate to enter the country.”

But the Greek government now appears to be behind lifting restrictions, with Marketing Greece telling TPG UK, “The Committee of Health Experts had a session earlier today and they suggested lifting entry restrictions to the country. The suggestion was adopted by the government and an official announcement was made at 6 p.m. this afternoon [Athens time].”

The spokesperson added, “Therefore, as of May 1, it will no longer be required to show vaccination/recovery certificates to enter the country. Indoor mask-wearing would remain until June 1.”

Prior to May 1, fully jabbed Americans older than 5 can only enter Greece freely by presenting valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

The unvaccinated must show a negative PCR test taken within the 72-hour period before arrival.

Additional reporting by Jordan Waller.

Featured photo by George Papapostolou/Getty Images.

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