Greek Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias on Friday called for all to be patient in regards to when the government’s restrictions on traveling freely on the mainland will ease. Greeks are currently restricted to their home prefectures.
“We fully understand the need of our fellow citizens to travel out of their home prefectures for a variety of reasons,” Hardalias said during a media briefing on Friday.
The deputy minister called for all “to be patient” until May 18.
“If all goes well, it will be possible for citizens to move almost all over mainland Greece without specific restrictions,” he said.
Greece on May 4 loosened some of the measures taken to halt the spread of Covid-19. However, travel outside home prefectures to summer houses and villages remains prohibited with checks being carried out regularly.
According to Hardalias, over the last 4 days, 414 violations had been recorded in the country regarding restricted movement.
He reminded that mainland travel, between Greek prefectures, is currently allowed strictly for “very specific reasons”, including food supply, health reasons and professional reasons.
The date mentioned by Hardalias – May 18 – is when Greece’s enters its 3rd stage of relaxing lockdown measures taken due to the coronavirus panemic. According to the government’s plan, on May 18 there may be a “possible total suspension of travel restrictions depending on progression of the epidemic”.
Domestic flights, ferry travel
Local reports claim that Greece’s restrictions on domestic air travel are also expected to ease on May 18 with more flights to possibly be added between destinations to better serve the public that needs to travel for other reasons besides health and business.
Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis recently stated that May 18 was a very possible date for more domestic flights in Greece to resume, adding that an alternative date would be that of May 25.
Restrictions for travel to the Greek islands by ferry and high-speed vessels are still in place. Maritime Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis on Thursday stated that announcements for travel to the islands will be made in the coming days.