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Italy and Greece Relax COVID-19 Restrictions

greece covid restrictions

On May 1, Italy and Greece relaxed certain COVID-19 restrictions, just ahead of the kickoff of Europe's high summer season.

In Greece, the country's civil aviation authority announced that it would be lifting all COVID-19 rules for both international and domestic flights. However,  face masks are still required to be worn during flights and inside airports. Up until now, air travelers were required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery from the virus.

When it comes to Italy, visitors will no longer have to complete the EU passenger locator form, a less-than-clear online process that was required at airport check-in.

Italy also eliminated the health pass required to enter restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and other public venues. The green pass, which demonstrated proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test, is still required to access hospitals and nursing homes.

When it comes to indoor mask mandates, most requirements have been lifted, including inside supermarkets, workplaces, and stores. However, masks are still required on public transport, in movie theaters, and in all healthcare facilities and nursing homes.

Italian public health officials say masks remain highly recommended for all indoor activities, and private companies can still require them.

In Greece, tourism accounts for about 20% of its GNP. Despite Sunday's official announcement of the lifting of restrictions, they had already started to ease up in recent weeks. On the island of Mykonos – extremely popular with tourists – revelers swarmed beaches, bars, and restaurant a week prior during the Orthodox Easter holiday.

Vaccine certificates in Greece have been abolished temporarily, from May 1 to August 31. In August, authorities will determine whether to bring reinstate them or not. Restrictions on the number of customers in indoor spaces were also lifted, but masks are still required indoors and in vehicles.

Both Italy and Greece saw tourism revenues plunge in 2020 and only partially rebound during 2021. Greece now hopes for a record tourism year in 2022 — alongside neighboring Albania, where restrictions were also lifted Sunday.

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