News Alerts

20 May 2020 | 01:43 AM UTC

Greece: Authorities to ease travel restrictions with Bulgaria and Serbia from June 1 /update 19

Greece News Alert

Greek authorities to ease travel restrictions with Bulgaria and Serbia from June 1; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/20/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Athens). COUNTRY/REGION Greece

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Event

Greek authorities announced on Tuesday, May 19, that they had agreed to ease some of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel restrictions for travelers arriving from Bulgaria and Serbia from Monday, June 1. Following a videoconference with the leaders of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania, the Greek government agreed that travelers arriving from Bulgaria and Serbia may enter the country without undergoing an obligatory 14-day quarantine period if they are entering for business, family, or humanitarian purposes, and complete a health declaration. Romania is pending the approval of its Parliament before it joins this agreement.

Greece gradually began to ease COVID-19 restrictions from Monday, May 4, with individuals no longer needing movement certificates within their area of residency. Most retail shops reopened on Monday, May 11; however, malls and restaurants remain closed until June 1. Face masks will be required in certain public spaces including supermarkets and public transport. Ferry services, including travel between the mainland and Crete also resumed on May 11.

Although certain international flights to Greece are permitted, they must land at Athens International Airport (ATH) until Sunday, May 31. Flights to Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands remain suspended until May 31 at the earliest. Flights to the UK will resume on Wednesday, July 1, while service to Albania, Macedonia, and Turkey are suspended until Sunday, June 31. Air France has announced that it will be resuming services to Athens from Saturday, May 23. Additionally, an entry ban on non-European Union (EU) citizens into Greece remains in place through May 31.

As of Wednesday, May 20, there are 2840 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 165 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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