Confusion reigns over travel rules for Greece holidays this spring and summer, the country’s current border restrictions won’t be eased from 1 May - despite the Greek health minister saying that present Covid rules would be suspended from May to August.
On 12 April, health minister Thanos Plevris appeared on Skai TV saying that Covid cases had declined enough “to proceed with the suspension of the protection measures put in place, from 1 May.”
Local and international press alike took this to mean all remaining Covid measures - including the domestic use of vaccine certificates to access venues, indoor mask-wearing, and the requirement to show either a vaccine certificate or PCR test result to enter Greece - would be lifted.
Mr Plevris emphasised that the move would be a suspension rather than a firm end to restrictions, saying, “The measures will be reviewed again in September.”
However, the Greek government later clarified that indoor mask-wearing would remain until 1 June - and the country’s tourist board is now saying that entry restrictions will not be eased this Sunday.
A representative for the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) that there has not been any indication from the Ministry of Tourism that travel rules will change on 1 May, and they expect the entry requirements to remain the same for the foreseeable future.
According to government website travel.gov.gr, the last update to Greece’s rules was when the country removed its passenger locator form on 15 March.
It states that the present Covid travel rules - proof of double vaccination, recent recovery or a PCR test result - are applicable until 1 May 2022, but does not give any information as to what will happen after that.
Regarding mask-wearing, the website confirms that “Until 31 May, the obligation to use a mask for indoor areas remains. From 1 June, the obligation will be lifted with exceptions that will be clarified in the weeks to come.”
“As of 1 May, no proof of vaccination or recovery will be required to enter all indoor and outdoor venues. Based on the information that we currently have, it will still be required to show vaccination/recovery certificate to enter the country.
“Within the next period, the government will examine the possibility of lifting that restriction as well, and in this case an official announcement will be made.”
Many tourism industry figures expected Greece to ease its Covid travel rules in time for the popular spring and summer tourism season.
It follows March’s confusion over Spain’s tourism rules, as the tourist board mistakenly announced an easing to restrictions that would allow in unvaccinated Brits, before making a U-turn and sticking to the previous ban on unjabbed travellers.