Greece has decided to require a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours from travelers who want to enter the country for non-essential travel through the land border crossing with Bulgaria as of July 14, the government has announced.
The decision to tighten restrictions for those arriving at the Promachonas border crossing was made during a video conference chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said in an e-mailed press statement.
Currently most tourists visiting Greece by road enter through the Promachonas border crossing where in recent days dozens tested positive.
In addition, the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) remains in effect, but travelers coming into Greece now have to complete it 24 hours prior to arrival instead of 48 hours, the official said.
Furthermore, Greek authorities will increase tests nationwide for the implementation of the health protocols set for businesses and individuals, according to the official.
The new measures come after a spike in confirmed novel coronavirus cases registered across Greece lately. Many of the cases concerned visitors after the reopening of the country’s tourism sector.
Greek officials have also stressed the need for constant vigilance by Greeks after reported cases in recent weeks due to overcrowding in public spaces and failure to wear protective face masks.
In the period between July 1 and July 6, Greek authorities conducted 31,169 sample tests on travelers and registered 100 positive cases, the government spokesperson said, noting that the trend of domestic cases was more alarming.
On Friday, National Organization for Public Health (EODY) reported 60 new cases within the past 24 hours, including 40 traced at the country’s gateways.
Greece has detected 3,732 infections, including 193 deaths, since Feb. 26, when the first case in the country was traced.
“We have said that the government’s priority is the safety of workers, residents and visitors. The increase in imported and domestic cases sounds the alarm… The coronavirus is here and is fed by unacceptable phenomena of laxity,” Petsas stressed on Friday.