On the day the European Commission proposes to member states to ease restrictions on non-essential travel, such as tourism in the EU, Greece loosens the restrictions and reopens bars and restaurants after six months of closure. A decision taken after the decline in infections recorded in the country.
The Brussels proposal
Brussels proposes to allow entry into the Union for non-essential reasons not only to all people from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also to all people who have received the latest recommended dose of an EU-authorized vaccine . «It is time to relaunch the tourism industry and to restart border friendships in safety – wrote the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, on Twitter -. But if variants emerge we must act quickly: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism ». The last recommended vaccine dose (the second for Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca and the only one for Janssen) must have been inoculated at least 14 days prior to the traveler’s arrival in the EU, in order to be reasonably certain of the immunization occurred.
Maximum attention is paid to the variants of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. Thus the Commission proposes to introduce a counterweight, an emergency brake system, to be coordinated at EU level, to limit the risk of new variants entering. This system should allow states to act “quickly” and to “temporarily limit to what is strictly necessary” travel from affected countries for the time necessary to implement the necessary health measures.
The fact that a vaccinated traveler can enter the EU does not mean that vaccination cannot be accompanied, depending on the country, by additional measures, such as tests and quarantines, but the hope is that, with the hoped-for improvement in the epidemiological situation, thanks to as the vaccination campaign progresses, these additional restrictions are gradually removed (today they prevent mobility also within the EU and the Schengen area, coercing freedom of movement). The proposed recommendation does not have a date of entry into force, but the aim is to finalize it by “the end of May”, so that it enters into force in June, explains a senior EU official.
As long as the Digital Green Certificate is not operational, Member States should be able to accept vaccination certificates from non-EU countries on the basis of national law, “taking into account their ability to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate and the completeness of the data reported “. Member States could also create a web portal that allows the traveler to request recognition of a vaccination certificate issued by a non-EU country as reliable proof of vaccination and / or for the issuance of a Green Pass.
Children, who are currently excluded from vaccinations, should be able to travel with vaccinated parents if they pass a PCR test with a negative result, no later than 72 hours before arriving at their destination. In these cases, Member States ‘could ask for additional tests on arrival’.
The stages of the reopening of Greece
In Greece, bars will be able to welcome customers again, as long as they have outdoor tables for up to six people and in compliance with social distancing measures. Employees in the catering sector will have to undergo mandatory tests and use masks, reports the newspaper Kathimerini. Bars and restaurants will not be able to play music to prevent people from getting too close to talk to each other and will have to close at 10.45pm. The curfew will be in effect from today between 11pm and 5am, and no longer between 10pm and 5am. The next phase of the reopening is scheduled for May 10, when elementary and middle schools will be able to return in attendance. While from 14 May the country will reopen to tourism from abroad.
Spain, from June reopens to tourists with vaccination passes
And from June also Spain reopens to tourists in possession of the vaccine passport. All passes capable of certifying vaccination, healing and molecular swab negativity will be accepted.