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Increased Traffic at Promachonas Border Crossing ahead of New Restrictions

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Increased traffic at Promachonas border crossing. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

ATHENS -- There was increased traffic at the Promachonas border crossing on Greece's northern land border on Tuesday, ahead of new rules that come into effect at midnight that will require those entering the country to produce evidence of a negative PCR test for Covid-19 done in the past 72 hours at a certified testing centre.

The new rules require that arrivals submit a document in English certifying that they have tested negative for SARS-Cov-2. According to sources, there is heightened interest by Bulgarian visitors to visit Greece, with queues forming outside the country's 38 approved testing centres.

Excepted from the rule are Greek nationals returning to Greece, who will be subject to random testing, however, upon their entry into the country.

In addition to the test, arrivals must also have completed a Passenger Locator Form online 24 hours before arrival.

The Greek foreign ministry has issued the following instructions for travellers:

"As of Wednesday July 15th, 2020 at 06.00 am (GMT+3), all travelers entering Greece for non-essential reasons through Promachonas border station, are obliged to present upon arrival a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece.

Travelers should be laboratory tested with RT-PCR of oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab.

Only travelers who carry a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test result will be allowed by the border authorities to enter the country. The certificates should be written in English and bear the name and passport/national ID number of the traveler.

The Laboratories that perform the RT-PCR testing should be:

a. National Reference laboratories

b. National Public Health Laboratories or

c. Private laboratories which are accredited from the respective national accreditation authorities (not necessarily specifically for COVID-19).

Certificates that do not fulfil the above criteria will not be accepted. Certificate forgery is punished by Greek Law.

Travelers will still have to complete and submit their PLF form and may be subject to random testing upon arrival to the Greek border.

In order for these changes to be implemented, the PLF system will not be available for travel through Promachonas until Tuesday, 00:01 hours. Travelers who had already issued their PLF forms will still be able to cross the Promachonas border crossing, but travelers without a PLF form will not be allowed to enter and should reschedule their trip for Wednesday July 15th.

The other land border stations remain closed for non-essential travel."