Greece to abolish restrictions on May 14 with tourist islands vaccinated by end-June

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Greece to abolish restrictions on May 14 with tourist islands vaccinated by end-JuneThese islands include Egina near Athens, all major Ionian Islands, Lesvos, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes, and Santorini, among others

The Greek government announced it will lift a ban on travel between regions and abolish a system requiring an SMS or a form for people to leave the house on Friday, abandoning most of the lockdown restrictions that still applied in the country, to coincide with the start of the tourism season, Kathimerini reports.

“We are putting the lockdown behind us,” noted Akis Skertsos, deputy minister to the prime minister, during a briefing on the pandemic on Wednesday.

For those who plan to travel to the Greek islands (except Evia and Lefkada), by ferry or airplane, they will have to procure a vaccination certificate (14 days after the second dose), or a negative PCR, rapid or self-test, 72 or 24 hours ahead of travel, respectively.

Airlines and ferry companies will be responsible for checking that passengers have the required documentation with them prior to boarding the ferry or plane. The measures will apply to all domestic and foreign travelers over 5 years of age.

Skertsos pointed out the curfew will be pushed to half past midnight as of May 14, from the current 10 p.m.

In retail, stores will resume normal operation, abolishing the click-and-collect and click-in-shop systems, maintaining solely social distancing and health safety rules.

Music will still not be allowed in cafes and restaurants during May.

Briefly, the measures as of May 14 (Friday) are as follows:

- Daily curfew will start at 00:30 instead of 23:00 daily

- All museums will open (archaeological sites have already opened)

- SMS or text messages to 13033 (leaving home for one of 6 reasons) and 13032 (for shopping) are abolished; the systems of click-away (pickup of e-orders) and click-inside (shopping appointments) are abolished

- Travel between prefectures is no longer restricted

In addition, as already announced earlier in the week, kindergartens to reopen May 17, summer film theaters on May 21, and open performance venues on May 28.

Outdoor events, bars, and receptions are expected to reopen in June, with a restriction of up to 100 people (for weddings and baptisms).

Greece to fully vaccinate all islands

Greece's major tourist islands will have concluded their vaccinations by the end of June, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced at Wednesday's regular live briefing on the pandemic, while 32 of the country's smaller islands have already done so. 

The minister provided details regarding the "Blue Freedom" program, which prioritizes vaccinations for permanent residents of islands, and said that another 36 islands with up to 10,000 inhabitants will have been fully vaccinated by the end of May.

Residents of 19 of the country's major islands will be vaccinated under this program by the end of June. These islands include Egina near Athens, all major Ionian Islands, Lesvos, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes, and Santorini, among others. They will all receive the single-dose vaccination of Johnson & Johnson.

Helping in the state's vaccination of islanders will be voluntary organizations and Mobile Medical Units, an initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and its 'Regeneration & Progress' non-profit-making organization to provide health services to islands without regular access to health services. 

Kikilias pointed out this past week Greece became 4th among all EU countries in the rate of inoculation per 100 residents (according to Our World in Data) and 8th among the same 27 countries for the rate of full vaccination of the population.

Currently, Greece has conducted nearly 4 million vaccinations, he said, adding that 24.59 percent of the population have received at least one dose (2.6 million people), and over 13 pct have completed their vaccinations (over 1.3 million). Additionally, it is impressive that nearly 97 pct of people with appointments keep them, Kikilias noted.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: pixabay.com

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