As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 2,917. The number of fatalities remains at 175. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 13, while 106 people have left the intensive care unit.
Greek officials said Saturday that the country will not limit arriving airline passengers next month to people coming from 29 countries, but that travelers who departed from places that aren’t on the initial list will be subject to mandatory testing for the coronavirus upon arrival and a quarantine period of one or two weeks. The two-tiered policy will be applied during June 15-30, although officials left open the possibility of maintaining entry restrictions after the end of June.
A limited number of international flights will continue only being allowed to land at Athens International Airport until June 15. Per European Union policy, every arriving passenger must be tested for the virus and stay overnight at a designated hotel. Visitors who test negative are required to self-quarantine for 7 days, while the ones who test positive must spend 14 days under a supervised quarantine.
Starting June 15, international flights can also land in Thessaloniki. Those from the 29 designated countries, the majority of them in Europe, will be subject to random tests. Passengers from all other countries will have to continue getting tested, staying overnight at specific hotels, and quarantining for either seven or 14 days.
The 29 countries announced on Friday are: Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.
Starting July 1, all Greek airports that can handle international traffic will reopen to flights from abroad. At that time, random screening for the virus will apply to all arriving passengers unless public health considerations dictate stricter testing, a tourism ministry official said.
Additionally, international arrivals by sea will also be allowed as of July 1, also subject to random testing. Foreigners traveling by land also will be permitted to enter Greece from neighboring Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia – but not Turkey – and be subject to random testing.
The Development Ministry has published a list of the businesses that are being permitted to go back into operation on Monday, June 1. These include hotels and other accommodation units that usually operate year-round, as well as organized camping sites. The latter category does not, however, include camping retreats for children.
Golf and mini-golf courses, and swimming pools will be providing sport and leisure opportunities from Monday, while massage, tattoo and piercing parlors are also gearing up for reopening. Catering services for special functions will also be allowed to open, as will events venues and events organizing offices, paving the way for summer weddings and other events. Dating services are also included in the sectors going back into business on Monday. All of the businesses have to comply with strict physical distancing and hygiene rules.
The Council of State, the Court of Auditors and the country’s regular administrative courts will reopen on June 1, but criminal courts will wait until after June 21, according to a joint ministerial decision published by the Ministry of Justice on Friday.
However, some criminal trials will restart in June 1: these include criminal courts trying cases in a fast-track process known as “aftoforo,” the trial of felonies for offenders who are approaching the maximum limit on temporary detention or remand, the trial of felonies nearing the statute of limitation, the swearing-in of jurors, the publication of court decisions, etc.
The joint ministerial decision also includes a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in courts, such as the use of masks or face covers by prosecutors, judges, secretaries, lawyers and litigants, the availability of antiseptics, a distance of 1.5 meters between people, and allowing a maximum of 20-25 people in small court rooms.
GOVERMENTAL SUPPORT MEASURES
Tickets for public transport in Athens and Thessaloniki are cheaper as of Monday with a reduction of value-added tax, to 13% from 26%, coming into effect. From now through October, commuters can buy a single ticket for the metro, tram, bus or trolley bus in Athens for 1.20 euros, down from €1.40, while the equivalent ticket for buses in Thessaloniki will cost €0.90, compared to €1 now.
The cost of season tickets will also be reduced proportionally. The reductions were announced last month by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as part of a package of cuts aimed at giving a boost to businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic as well as helping citizens. They are to last until October 31.