Third phase of lockdown easing to begin

Third phase of lockdown easing to begin

The implementation of the third phase of the government’s plan to lift restrictions introduced to halt the spread of the coronavirus will begin on Monday, with travel allowed between different regions on mainland Greece and the first ferry services to Crete. 

Services to the other islands will begin, conditionally, on May 25.

Also on Monday, intercity buses and train services will resume. Parks, zoos and archaeological sites will open too, while services for all religions will be allowed on Monday, although numbers will be limited as congregations will have to observe strict social distancing rules.

Furthermore, there will be a gradual resumption on Monday of domestic flights, which had until now been operating in limited numbers.

According to the safety rules, ferries will only be allowed to sail at no more than 50 percent passenger capacity, or 55 percent if cabins are available.

Before boarding, passengers will have their temperatures taken while they will also be required to complete a so-called “health status” questionnaire.

Ferry passengers will also be obliged to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between each other during boarding and disembarkation. They will have to keep the same distance in all areas of the ship.

Only one person will be allowed in each cabin, except in the case of disabled people and their helpers or families comprising spouses or first-degree relatives. In the latter case, cabin capacity can be up to four people.

The use of masks by passengers and crew members is mandatory. There must also be an empty sea between each passenger.

Passengers suspected of infection will be isolated in a special area on the ship and will be disembarked at the next port of call that has the necessary capacity to manage the case.

Meanwhile authorities on Friday announced they were extending a ban on passenger flights to and from Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands until May 31.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said the country was also extending a temporary ban on flights to and from Albania and North Macedonia until June 14. Furthermore, no flights will be allowed from Turkey until June 14.

Hardalias also said a temporary entry ban on non-EU citizens has been extended until May 31.

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