After almost two years of mandatory mask use indoors and on all travel vehicles, Greece is dropping their mask rules for indoor use, starting June 1. But, it may not stay dropped and it does have a couple of exceptions.
Greece Dropping Indoor Mask Rules
If you are in the US, you may not realize how difficult the mask rules were in Greece over the last two years. For starters, police were told to make control stops and checks at indoor facilities to check for mask use. If someone was not wearing a mask, they were to receive a fine of €300.
While some police chose to issue warnings instead of fines for many, the possibility of getting a fine, particularly in cities, was always there. It was not just indoors either. For several months over the last two years, there were even mask rules for outdoors, subject to the same €300 fine if not followed.
I will say that many small shops in villages had stopped as customers to wear masks as of a couple of months ago.
Greece is also one of the few EU nations that chose to not adopt the EU recommendation to drop mask requirements onboard airplanes and in airports. This was something enforced as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
But, starting June 1, indoor mask rules will be dropped in Greece – at least for a while. The government made it clear that this is just until September 15 and that there is a possibility that the mask rules and other Covid restrictions (like requiring vaccination certificates for cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues) may go back into effect in September.
However, for the summer tourists and all Greek citizens and residents, there will be many that will enjoy the the freedom from masks indoors, particularly with the temperatures that can get quite high (last year, they required masks outdoors until the end of June and it was over 100 degrees in many places!).
The Exceptions to the Mask Rules Being Dropped
However, there are some exceptions. As for buildings, the exception is for hospitals and healthcare facilitates. For these places, masks will still be required. We have to go to a clinic every couple of months and the masks have been required inside from the beginning of Covid, even though every person coming into the building for any treatment or anything need to have a test taken before proceeding. These rules will continue to exist.
The other exceptions have to do with public transport. This includes metros, buses, electric railways and trams. However, for any mode of transportation that has a seat assignment/numbering, masks will not be required (this includes intercity buses and airplanes).
No decision has been made yet for ships. This may be decided tomorrow, on June 1.