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Greece Extends Ban on Private Pleasure Boats Until May 18


Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Greek authorities recently announced that its nationwide sailing ban on private pleasure boats arriving from abroad and entering its ports has been extended to May 18, as part of the country’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The measure was originally in effect for the period March 19 – April 19.

In addition, the shipping ministry has forbidden all kinds of amateur sailboats, private recreational yachts, and professional tourism vessels – regardless of their flag – from departing or arriving within the Greek territory between May 4 – 18.

Vessels may be allowed to travel in the following cases:

  • Extraordinary conditions or emergency related to mechanical damage or other reasons that affect safe navigation and the marine environment,
  • Sea trials that take place in accordance with the rules in effect and the orders of the relevant port authorities,
  • The supply of vessels with fuel, water and provisions,
  • Repair works at shipyards. After work is completed, vessels are allowed to sail without passengers either to the port of mooring or to another port.
  • For reasons exclusively related to the safety of the country’s critical energy infrastructures. This case concerns exclusively commercial pleasure boats according to Law 4256/2014 (A ’92).

Greece recently entered its first stage in easing its lockdown that it imposed in March due to the coronavirus.

Swimming at unorganized beaches is allowed again, as well as amateur fishing from land and with the use of private non-motorized boats.

According to Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias, boats with a length of up to seven meters can take passengers for a swim under certain conditions. However, the boats are not allowed to approach islands and host passengers overnight. In addition, a distance of at least two meters must be maintained between vessels.

Moreover, Greeks are allowed to travel freely within the prefecture of their residence. However, travel to the islands is still prohibited (certain exceptions apply).

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