The Greek government is said to be considering allowing citizens that have a negative coronavirus self-test result to travel between prefectures for the Easter holiday, local media said on Tuesday.
With Easter approaching, Greeks are waiting to be informed if lockdown restrictions will ease so they can travel to the countryside to celebrate the holiday. Movement between Greek prefectures is currently banned (except for health and work reasons) due to the government’s effort to curb the spread of the virus.
While the majority of government officials and health experts believe it is too soon to discuss the issue due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in the country, media reports suggest that movement between prefectures for the Easter holiday will be allowed only for those that have a negative self-test result and considering that the epidemiological situation has improved by Easter Week, which begins on April 26.
According to the possible scenario, eligible for inter-regional travel will be citizens that have a negative self-test result (taken up to 48 hours before) and have registered it on the self-testing.gov.gr website. They will then have to download a certificate which will have to presented upon request (at toll stations for example) when traveling through prefectures.
It is noted that nothing has been confirmed by the government at this time. The government is expected by Easter Week to announce if free movement between prefectures will be allowed and under what conditions.
Covid-19 self-testing strategy
Greece’s Covid-19 self-testing strategy recently kicked off with high school students and teachers being the first to receive their free Covid-19 self-test kits from pharmacies.
The strategy was deemed a success as some 600 students and teachers were detected to be asymptomatic through Covid-19 self-testing and therefore did not attend classes when high schools reopened.
The government recently announced that more groups of citizens – such as office, retail and food delivery workers – will soon be able to receive their free self-test kits from their local pharmacies. Some 900,000 kits will be made available from the end of this week for citizens to begin self-testing.
Meanwhile, it was announced on Monday that Greece’s Covid-19 vaccination platform would be opening for more age groups.
Speaking during a Covid-19 media briefing, General Secretary of Primary Health Care Mario Themistokleous said Greece was expecting an increase in vaccine deliveries over the next two months. These deliveries include the first batch (33,600) of single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson on April 14 and a significant amount of Pfizer doses.
According to Themistokleous, from April 16 the vaccination platform will gradually be accepting appointments for people with underlying health issues (aged 18-59 years old) to receive the jab.
Next week, from April 21, the platform will be accessible for appointments of teachers and those who are 55-59 years old.
On Saturday, April 24, the platform will open for the 50-54 age group.
People in their 40s are expected to be able to make their appointment in May to receive the jab.