Greece re-opens interregional travel, abolishes movement SMS, other restrictions eased

On Wednesday 12th May, the Greek Deputy Minister Akis Skertsos announced that the government would further ease lockdown restrictions, following the recommendations of the country’s health committee. He stressed that there has been a continuous reduction in the number of cases over the last six weeks, emphasising that the recent lifting of restrictions had not increased the infection rate.
Watch the announcement (in Greek) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06RZnZm020U

Summary:
Starting on Friday 14th May, the SMS system for leaving home will end. A night curfew will still be in place, starting at 00:30H. Domestic travel restrictions (concerning inter-regional travel) will be lifted as part of Greece’s “roadmap” out of lockdown following months of restrictions.

Inter-Regional Travel
From Friday 14th May, inter-regional travel within Greece will be permitted. For travel between regions, there is a recommendation to perform a self test before travel. Furthermore, for travel to the islands, there will be a “Green pass” type system in place. Those wishing to travel to Greek islands must have one of the following:

  • A vaccination certificate (>14 days after the second dose)
  • A negative result from a PCR test (up to 72 hours prior to travel)
  • A negative result from a rapid test or self-test conducted up to 24 hours before
  • Documentary proof of previous COVID illness (recovered).

All domestic and foreign travelers over 5 years old will be obliged to comply with these conditions

Restaurants, Cafe/Bars & Entertainment
Restaurants and cafes are already allowed to open (since May 3rd), but only with outdoor seating and without music of any kind (live or recorded). The reasoning for this is that according to experts, when music is playing in a space, customers will be forced to speak louder, an action which can increase transmission of COVID-19. Customers in restaurants and cafes are strongly advised to wear their masks while seated, when they are not drinking or eating.

Summer cinemas will open on May 21th, and outdoor cultural spaces on May 28th.
Organised beaches – with sunbeds etc – opened on May 8th.

Shopping

From Friday 14th May, the click-and-collect and click-in-shop systems will end. The number of customers allowed in shops will remain at one customer per 25 square meters.

Celebrations
From June, weddings and baptisms will be allowed to take place, outdoors, with a maximum of 100 people.

Archaeological sites & Museums

Archeological sites reopened in March, and indoor museums in Greece are planned to reopen from May 14th. Various restrictions will be in place indoors, including social distancing, mandatory face masks, distancing rules apply to cafes and restaurants in museums similar to normal restaurants, and gift shops similar to normal retail outlets. E-tickets are highly reccommended and for groups with guides there are extra restrictions in place.