Greek authorities have announced the resumption of flights to and from the country from Monday, June 15, after a nearly three-month-long suspension due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Entry will only be granted for essential travel. Flights from the United Kingdom will remain suspended, and arrivals from Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands will only be permitted to arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH) and Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG), with passengers required to undergo COVID-19 tests. These restrictions are to be lifted on July 1. International tourists will also be welcomed from July 1, and seven undisclosed border crossings into Greece will reopen. Ferries will also resume service, although the ban on cruise ships will remain in effect indefinitely. All arrivals will be subject to random COVID-19 testing and will be required to self-quarantine in a hotel while awaiting the test results. A one-day quarantine period will be required for negative results and a 14-day period for positive tests.
Greek authorities allowed cafes and restaurants to reopen at the end of May as part of its easing of COVID-19 measures ahead of the country's tourist season. Different restrictions remain in place at cafes and restaurants, including social distancing, and only allowing customers to sit outdoors. Year-round hotels reopened on June 1.
As of Sunday, June 14, health authorities have confirmed 3121 COVID-19 cases and 183 associated deaths in Greece. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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.
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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