Traveling to Greece

Greece Lifts More Restrictions as Covid Numbers Stay Low

Written by Charlie

If you are visiting Greece this summer, you will find that restrictions are slowly lifting including a big one of needing a mask outdoors!

If you are visiting Greece this summer, you will be able to enjoy a few less restrictions as the Greek government has just lifted a few more of the Covid restrictions that have been in place for many months now (here were some of the other things they have changed).

Greece Lifts More Restrictions

The biggest restriction that changed, as of June 24, is that masks are no longer required outdoors. This is exceptional news since the temperatures have hit over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) on Thursday and the use of masks outdoors was something that experts had been split on for a long time.

While it was possible for anyone – resident or visitor – to receive a €300 fine for not wearing a mask outdoors, most police officers stopped issuing these tickets over the last couple of months. I would say about half of the people I observed in public outdoor areas have not been wearing a mask (over their face, at least) for a while now.

However, mask use will still be required indoors. In some places like villages, mask use in small shops may not be enforced but it is still a government requirement.

There has been a curfew in place for months (at some times, it was from 7PM until 6AM) but recently had moved to just 1:30am – 5:00am. After this weekend (so, starting June 28), the curfew will be lifted as well. While most people are not moving between those hours, in Greece, it is very common for people to stay out late eating or being with friends/family.

Greece has also said that employees who have been fully vaccinated (meaning at least 15 days has passed since the final shot) will no longer need to take a self-test each week. This will not impact tourists at all, especially since most people probably did not realize that this was actually happening anyway! But, this is important also because it will also apply to visiting gyms. If you do not want to skip your workouts while on vacation, keep you vaccine card close at hand and you should be able to access gyms.

When it comes to food and beverage establishments, the number of people at a table is raised from just 4 to 10 people. Furthermore, outdoor social activities (like weddings/receptions) can now receive up to 300 people (up from 100 people).

At the same time, there is some talk that there could be local lockdowns as the delta variant of the virus begins to hit Europe. It is estimated that this could be the dominant strain as of August for Europe and Greece.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

2 Comments

  • Saw some comments from government official today regarding the Delta variant in Crete, particularly Heraklion. They have not ruled out bringing back restrictions (of course) in cases where areas such as Crete may have some outbreaks.

    What’s the vaccine uptake like over there, Charlie? I’ll be in Chania and Heraklion in the middle of September. I know Greece has been making a concentrated effort to vaccinate citizens and workers in tourist destinations.

    • Crete has definitely been an area of concern particularly with the new variants. Maybe it is due to the amount of older retirees there? There is a large expat community there and many of them were not able to get the vaccine early on because they were no in the AMKA (medical) system.
      Yes, Greece has done a major effort with vaccinating people in the tourism and hospitality industry. They have opened up the vaccines to anyone 18 and older but there are still many people that are holding out right now, most likely due to the fact that for the longest time, people under 60 were only eligible for AstraZeneca and then Johnson & Johnson. Those wanting the vaccine had wanted Pfizer (interesting note, the CEO is a Jew from Thessaloniki, Greece – they will actually be building a facility here shortly) and it is just now being made available to everyone.
      Numbers have been dropping so things must be going ok so far. The government is expected to put in some requirements for certain places – like cinemas, indoor restaurants, etc – only for individuals that have been vaccinated but that won’t happen before September at the earliest.

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