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Greece to Lift Covid-19 Restrictions in Stages Starting May 4

From the Greek government's plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: "A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality"

From the Greek government’s plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: “A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday announced that the government was easing the measures taken to halt the spread of Covid-19 throughout Greece and setting the  standards that will guide the country to normalcy.

“Following the recommendations of our expert committee, I can today announce our steps towards a ‘safety bridge’ of a new daily reality,” said the PM during a televised address to the public.

From Monday, May 4, the restrictions on the non-essential movement of citizens will be lifted, along with the obligation to notify authorities on essential movement (via hard copy permits and text sms messages).

According to the government’s two-month plan, Greece’s market will reopen in seven stages, starting with the opening of specific shops and services next Monday, temporarily from 10am.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

However, restrictions will still apply during Greece’s gradual return to normalcy. The government’s plan includes social distancing between shop owners and customers; a limit to the number of customers per footage when indoors; and the mandatory use of a mask in public transport, taxis, hospitals; and when visiting public services and visiting shops. In regards to elder citizens, there is a recommendation for them to continue to stay at home.

The Greek PM said that the government will be monitoring developments of the gradual return to normalcy on a 24 hours basis.

“Until the right vaccine and an effective treatment is found, the virus will live among us,” the PM said, requesting that all citizens do their best and follow the hygiene and social distancing instructions.

Restrictions to be lifted in 7 stages

The following shops, establishments and services will be in operation:

Stage 1 – May 4: Retail businesses such as bookstores, optical eyewear stores, sports equipment stores; shops providing services such as hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons (they will operate strictly by appointment); and vehicle inspection services (KTEO)
Stage 2 – May 11: All remaining retail businesses (except shopping malls), along with driving schools
Stage 3 – May 18: Archaeological sites, zoos and botanical gardens

For details on the initial phase, see below:

From the Greek government's plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: "A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality"

From the Greek government’s plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: “A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality”

Stages 4 to 7

Stage 4 – from June 1: Shopping malls, outdoor restaurants and cafes
Stage 5: Summer cinemas, year-round hotels
Stage 6: Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor playgrounds
Stage 7: Indoor restaurants and cafes, seasonal hotels and resorts, indoor sports facilities

Moving around in public

Moreover, the government recommends for citizens to prefer to move around in private cars rather than public transportation in an aim to reduce congestion at train and metro stations, in buses, in trolleys and in tram cars, so that the virus is not further transmitted.

In regards to taxis, the measure foreseeing one customer/passenger per vehicle is still in place.

Students in the last grade of high school will return to class on May 11 and a week later other grades will follow. However, nursery schools, kindergartens and elementary schools will continue to remain closed until further notice.

Churches will be open to the public in May but with restrictions: personal worship will be allowed as of May 4 and daily services attendance as of May 17.

From the Greek government's plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: "A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality"

From the Greek government’s plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: “A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality”

In the coming days the government is expected to announce further guidelines for restaurants, leisure facilities, hotels, beauty salons, swimming pools and beaches.

In addition, it was announced that large gatherings, such as festivals, concerts or sporting events with spectators, will most likely not be allowed during the summer months.

To see the Greek government’s plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: “A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality”, press here.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Clare Dooley Reply

    Hi Nikos, I had heard recently that all flights to Greece were into Athens only. Do you have any idea when regional airports will be open? Like, Nigel, we were also planning to travel to Paxos in July

    • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

      check here: https://news.gtp.gr/2020/05/20/restart-tourism-greece-presents-official-post-covid-19-plan/
      Monday, June 1: Camps, campsites and year-round hotels will open
      Monday, June 15: All other accommodation (seasonal hotels and resorts) will open. On the same day, the first stage of lifting restrictions on international flights will take place, with aircraft landing initially only at Athens Airport
      Wednesday, July 1: Second stage of lifting restrictions on international flights at all Greek airports.
      July 15: Gradual lifting of remaining restrictions

  2. Amy Reply

    Hello, I can’t find any punctual information regarding taxi transportation. Specifically, traveling from central Athens to the airport with 3 people. You would think that this could be permitted but I don’t want to risk getting a fine. Is there a place where I could get more info on that?

  3. Val Lightfoot Reply

    We are due to fly from the United Kingdom to Rhodes on 26th June 2020, can you advise if this will still be going ahead. I cannot work out when the European flights are due to start again.

  4. Alki Reply

    hi im a greek resident and my fiance is from british columbia canada we have flights booked for may 25th but they have been canceled by our carrier we now are making arrangements for june 1st will we be able to come into Greece

  5. nigel anderson Reply

    Hi Nikos,
    We have a holiday booked in Paxos mid July. We are in two minds as whether to cancel. Do you think by July Greece will be accepting Holidaymakers and do you think the airports will be open?

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hi Nigel.
      The Greek tourism minister recently said that Greece is preparing to gradually open its doors to travelers in July after health experts give the go-ahead and relevant Covid-19 safety protocols are in place.
      Τhe government is expected to announce its tourism plan later in May, pending coordination and discussions with other countries. So, we should know soon!

  6. olga Stamatiou Reply

    Hi Nikos,
    Thanks for keeping us alll informaed,
    As you I am Greek American born in NY, and living here.
    Keep up the great work and I hope you are well and safe!
    Olga

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