A Collection of Greek Legislation and Regulations Concerning Covid-19 and Tourism
Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Greek government proceeded with the adoption of a number of measures, aiming to limit the spread of the virus in the country.
The government has also launched rounds of aid measures to address the negative effects the coronavirus has caused on businesses and employees.
Aiming to help our audience stay informed, we are providing a collection of some of the most important measures that have been formally adopted by legislative acts in the Hellenic Parliament. All legislative acts are provided in their original form (Greek language).
It is noted that not all laws are included in this collection as some are amended almost daily.
Measures taken to limit the spread of Covid-19
- Temporary ban on the operation of educational institutions, places of worship (churches), theaters, cinemas, archaeological sites and museums, areas for sports and art events, shops, private companies, public services and organizations, as well as general areas for the gathering of the public – Άρ. 1 ΦΕΚ 42 Α’/25-02-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 855/13-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 915/17-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ B’ 1293/10-4-2020 & ΦΕΚ B’ 1299/10-4-2020
- Temporary ban of the operation of organized beaches and ski resorts – ΦΕΚ Β’ 859/14-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ B’ 1299/10-4-2020
- Temporary ban of the operation of seasonal hotels and resorts throughout the country for the period from February 15 or February 23 until April 30 – ΦΕΚ B’ 857/14-03-2020
- Temporary ban of the operation of year-round hotels and resorts throughout the country for the period from February 23 or February 26 until April 30 – ΦΕΚ Β’ 987/22-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 930/18-03/2020
- Hotels exempt from previous government decision (ordering the temporary closure of Greece’s year-round hotels) and operating conditions (the prices of rooms and any other facilities or services during the indicated period of operation may not exceed the corresponding prices that were valid during the period from January 15 to January 30). – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1018/24-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1073/27-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1295/10-4-2020
- Requisition of The Stanley Hotel (Athens) to meet the temporary accommodation needs of travelers arriving from foreign countries – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1115/01-04-2020
- Temporary ban on the circulation of all types of ships and boats, as well as the departure and arrival of private pleasure boats and professional tourist vessels in Greek ports – Until April 27 – ΦΕΚ Β’ 932/18-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’944/20-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1209/7-4-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1302/11-4-2020
- Short-term rentals (AirBnB-style) accommodation does not fall under operating restrictions.
Temporary movement restrictions
- Temporary ban on entry to and exit from Greece of individuals and organized or non-organized groups who have arrived from or are going to affected* areas abroad. (Greek citizens are not banned from entering Greek territory.) *the COVID-19-affected areas are determined on a case-by-case basis. – Άρ. 9 ΦΕΚ Α’ 64/14-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β΄ 1419/15-04-2020 Until 15/5
- Temporary restriction on the movement of citizens. Exceptions are mentioned in the decision. – ΦΕΚ Β’ 986/22-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1040/26-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1272/09-04-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1168/4-4-2020
- Additional restrictive measures for the municipalities of Mykonos and Thira (Santorini) – ΦΕΚ Α’ 68/20-03-20 & ΦΕΚ Β’1179/06-04-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1475/17-04-2020
- Imposition of 14-day self-quarantine temporary measure for persons entering Greece from abroad to limit the spread of Covid-19 – Until May 15 – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1127/02-04-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1476/17-4-2020
- The Greek government tightened restrictions for ferry travel, allowing access only to permanent island residents.
Relief measures for businesses and employees
Employee support mechanism
- Suspension of contracts of employees – From March 15 until April 30 employees receive a special benefit of €800 and full insurance coverage through the state budget. The termination of contracts is prohibited. – Αρ. 3 & 13 ΦΕΚ Α’ 64/14-03-2020 & Αρ. 11 ΦΕΚ Α’ 68/20-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1078/28-03-2020
- Possibility for employees to work remotely (work from home) – Αρ. 4 ΦΕΚ Α’ 55/11-03-2020
- Possibility of granting leave for a special purpose – Αρ. 4 ΦΕΚ Α’ 55/11-03-2020 & circular Ministry of Labor https://www.ypakp.gr/uploads/files/14388.pdf
- Operation of companies with safe operation personnel – Αρ. 9 ΦΕΚ 68/20-03-2020
- Transfer of personnel to companies within the same group – Αρ. 9 ΦΕΚ 68/20-03-2020
Additional aid for employers and employees
- Extension of payment of insurance contributions for affected businesses. – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1044/26-03-2020
- Extension of payment of Easter benefit to employees until June 30 – Αρ. 19 ΦΕΚ Α’ 75/30-03-2020
- Suspension of deadlines for the expiration and payment of securities settlement systems (clearings) by 75 days. – Αρ. 2 ΦΕΚ Α’ 75/30-03-2020
Regulation allowing tourism companies (airlines, ferries, hotels, travel agencies) to reimburse customers with 18-month vouchers for bookings that were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, instead of cash refunds. The value of each voucher must be equal to the amount paid by the customer in advance when making the booking. If the vouchers are not used within 18 months by customers, businesses will be required to refund the initial amount of the bookings in cash. – Αρ. 70-71 ΦΕΚ Α’ 84/13-04-2020
Targeted tax relief measures for affected businesses
- Table of the Activity Code Numbers (KAD) of companies in the affected sectors that are included in the support measures. – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1388/14-04-2020
- Suspension of VAT payments under conditions / Extension of VAT payments, without any penalties on late payment. – Άρ. 1 ΦΕΚ Α’ 55/11-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 950/21-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1158/03.04.2020
- Suspension of tax debt payments and extension of the deadline for payment of installments until August 31 / Extension of payment of installments to the Independent Authority for Public Revenues (AADE) – Άρ. 2 ΦΕΚ Α’ 55/11-03-2020 & & ΦΕΚ Β’ 949/21-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1043/26-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1157/03.04.2020
- Extension of suspended VAT payments for affected companies that had business deals with the (now bankrupt) company “Thomas Cook Group PLC” – Άρ. 9 ΦΕΚ Α’ 55/11-03-2020
- Reduced lease payments for commercial leases/primary residences. Enterprises that their operation is mandatorily suspended shall be liable to a 40% reduction of the agreed rent for their business premises for the months March and April. – Άρ. 2 ΦΕΚ Α’ 68/20-03-2020 & Αρ.. 11 ΦΕΚ Α’ 75/30-03-2020
- Advancement of income tax and VAT refunds due by the Greek state. – Άρ. 3 ΦΕΚ Α’ 68/20-03-2020
- Extension of the submission of declarations for taxes and levies (including the stayover tax) with a deadline for submission within the months of March and April 2020 – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1079/28-03-2020
- Extension of the deadline for the submission of lease declarations and short-term rental property leases to TAXISnet until July 30 – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1072/27.03.20
- 25% discount for installments of tax dues of companies and individuals – Άρ. 1 ΦΕΚ Α’ 75/30-03-2020
- Temporary state aid measure granting refundable deposits for businesses that have been severely affected. Until April 21 – Αρ. 3 ΦΕΚ Α’ 75/30-03-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β’ 1135/2-4-2020 & ΦΕΚ Β΄1294/10-04-2020
- Invitation for interest subsidy of existing banking loans of Small and Medium Enterprises Loans impacted by Covid-19. – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1291/10-04-2020
- Benefit of €800 to self-employed and small business owners for business support – ΦΕΚ Β’ 1457/16-4-2020
- Financial aid for the year-round hotels in Greece that are operating during Covid-19 – Άρ. 72 ΦΕΚ Α’ 84/13-04-2020
- “Business Financing” Action program which facilitates the access of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to financing mechanisms. 40% of each loan’s capital is granted by the Entrepreneurship Fund II which reduces the interest rate offered to SMEs up to 40% compared to the interest rate given under the market’s conditions. Loan offered are of two types: (a) working capital loan (b) investment loans.
Other useful information
Proposal of the European Commission to respond to COVID-19 pandemic
OECD proposals for tackling COVID-19
• National Public Health Organization tel: 1135
• National Public Health Organization of Greece: https://eody.gov.gr/tag/en
• European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
I’m looking for Company law measures (virtual meetings, Booard of directors duties, etc) and I only find art. 33(2) Law March 20th 2020. Maybe I miss other laws? Could you give some info?
And, where I cand find the 30/03/2020 Legislative Act regarding the measures against the Covid-19 pandemic and other urgent provisions?
Hi, GTP! I’m writing from the U.S.
Here’s what I don’t understand, our hotel reservation in Santorini is next week, but the hotel won’t even be open. I’ve asked for a cash refund, but they’re only issuing vouchers. How is this legal? Wouldn’t that be a breach of contract? I tried referencing the actual policies set forth by the Ministry of Tourism, but it’s all in Greek and I can’t read it. I’m just trying to understand our rights. Thank you!
The Greek government has passed a regulation allowing Greek airlines, ferries and tourism enterprises (hotels and travel agencies) to reimburse customers with 18-month vouchers for bookings that were canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, instead of cash refunds. The main points of the law are covered in our article: https://news.gtp.gr/2020/04/14/covid-19-greece-covers-canceled-bookings-vouchers-instead-refunds/
Can we get an update on this, following PM announcement to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions ? What is the timetable for tourism & When will the travel restrictions lift, based on the available information ?
Greece’s deputy minister to the PM, Akis Skertsos, announced that the government is spearheading a comprehensive plan on tourism to be announced later in May, pending coordination and discussions with other countries. We should know more details soon.