Some 2,500 people were stopped from boarding ferry boats to the Greek islands between Friday and Monday alone because they lacked the required documentation, Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said Monday.
The coast guard was put in charge of checking that public health safety measures are being upheld at ports since July 13, amid concerns that Greek and foreign tourists traveling to and from the islands are driving the spike in coronavirus infections.
Plakiotakis admitted that before the coast guard took over from the port authorities, checks were “inadequate.”
“This is why the coast guard took over the checks before embarkation,” he told Open TV.
Travelers to the islands need to display either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recent recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid test conducted 42 hours before traveling.
As of July 16, unvaccinated travelers returning to mainland Greece will have to present a negative self-test or rapid test in order to board a ferry.