As infection rates continue to decline in Greece, the popular tourist destination removed more restrictions this week as the summer season kicks off.
Greece Is Open For Tourism
Greece was one of the first countries in Europe to open back up to tourists, implementing forward-thinking amendments to their entry requirements to help streamline the return of visitors.
Greece reopened to international tourists from 50+ countries on May 15. All visitors must show proof of a negative 72-hour PCR test or proof of being fully vaccinated.
The country is aiming to be one of the top tourist destinations this summer, giving American tourists early access, allowing cruise ships to return, and amping up vaccines.
As more tourists begin to enter the country, Greece is removing more restrictions to continue its appeal.
Greece Removes Mandatory Masks Outdoors and Other Restrictions
On Wednesday, authorities in Greece announced that they would end the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors and ease other remaining restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Masks remain mandatory in indoor spaces but not outdoors from Thursday except in congested places.
As of June 28, the remaining late-night curfews will also be removed.
The number of people allowed to sit at the same table in restaurants will increase from 6 to 10, and the maximum limit on large social gatherings will increase to 300.
Beaches are open, and the limit will increase to 120 people per 1,000 square metres as part of the relaxation of curbs.
Covid-19 Situation In Greece
On Tuesday, the government said that 30.24% of the population had been fully vaccinated so far, while 43.1% had received at least one dose.
“The country’s improved epidemiological picture is clear and pleasant,” said Vana Papaevangelou, a member of the committee of infectious disease experts advising the government. “The outlook is favourable.”
While some countries in Europe have been grappling with the Delta variant, health authorities in Greece said that fewer than 10 cases had been detected in the country.
However, Greece has been under fire from other EU leaders over what vaccines it is accepting for entry.
Greece accepts proof of vaccination with Russia’s Sputnik and China’s Sinopharm shots, neither of which has been authorized by the European Medicines Agency.
Both France And Germany’s leaders have expressed concern about this because as of July 1, all EU countries will accept visitors from other member states who hold the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
“We must all recognize the same vaccines, the ones which have been authorized by the European Medicines Agency,” said France president Emmanual Macron.
“They are all fully efficient, we know that, including against the latest variants, and the delta variant. The other vaccines don’t have the same degree of visibility, especially on this latest variant.”
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has called for British tourists to be quarantined on arrival in the EU due to the Delta variant, which Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has rejected.
He said the solution to the threat of the Delta variant was to speed up the pace of vaccination in the EU rather than deter tourism by imposing quarantine requirements.
“Regarding the Delta variant, in my intervention, I said that we should not adopt a logic of new restrictions but, on the contrary, accelerate the vaccinations … as I said yesterday, those who have been vaccinated are protected, those who have not been vaccinated are in danger.”
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com