Critical Alert

Greece extends current COVID-19 restrictions until at least Oct. 12 due to increased disease activity. Disruptions to persist.

Alert Begins 05 Oct 2020 07:15 PM UTC
Alert Expires 12 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

 

Summary
Authorities in Greece plan to maintain the nation's current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions until Oct. 12 following a rise in infections. In the Attica Region, including the city of Athens and surrounding areas, public gatherings are limited to nine people, and indoor cinema and theater productions are suspended. In Attica, Halkidiki, Chania, Lesbos, Zakynthos, Heraklion, Pella, Pieria, Imathia, Kilkis, and Trikala, as well as the municipality of Mykonos, public catering, entertainment, and many retail businesses must stay closed 2359-0500 in addition to complying with limits on the number of patrons allowed inside such establishments at a time. Elsewhere in the country, public gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted, and only catering and entertainment venues must remain closed between 2359-0500. All persons must wear facemasks in enclosed public spaces nationwide, as well as in crowded outdoor spaces in much of the country. Universities have been allowed to reopen nationwide as of Oct. 5.

Extended nationwide restrictions and travel bans on non-EU citizens also remain in place. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and the United Arab Emirates are exempt from the travel ban, as are freight transporters, diplomats, students enrolled at Greek universities, seasonal workers, healthcare workers, and passengers in transit.

All travelers arriving from Bulgaria, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, Belgium, Spain, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Direct air connections with Turkey and Catalonia (Spain) remain suspended; flights from Albania and North Macedonia may only land at Athens International Airport (ATH). Maritime connections with Albania and Turkey also remain suspended; freight transport is exempt. Officials periodically reassess the measures and the countries exempted from the ban.

Travelers permitted to enter Greece are not automatically required to undergo a mandatory quarantine period; however, prior to their departure they may be required to complete the Passenger Locator Form - a detailed declaration providing their contact details, country of origin, and travel history over the previous 15 days. Authorities conduct targeted COVID-19 testing of arriving travelers based on information provided in the declarations. Anyone testing positive for the virus could be required to quarantine for 14 days in government-provided accommodations. Persons entering the country through the border crossing points of Kakavia and Krystallopigi must self-isolate for seven days upon arrival; freight transporters are exempt.

Any restrictions could be reimposed, extended, further eased, or otherwise amended at short notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

 

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

 

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