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Greece to Demand Negative COVID-19 Test from Arrivals via Promachonas Border Crossing

ATHENS — Greece on Friday announced a tightening of restrictions for those arriving at the Promachonas border crossing, on the country's northern land border, who from July 14 will be required to display a negative Covid-19 test taken in the last 72 hours in order to enter the country for non-essential travel.

The additional measures were announced by government spokesperson Stelios Petsas after a broad video conference chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to discuss the implementation of Greece's operational plan for the Covid-19 checks at the country's gateways, as well as the need for strict implementation of health protocols and the measures that must be taken at the Promachonas border crossing.

Mitsotakis underlined that "there can be no easing [of controls]. The country's opening to tourism must be done with the safety of both visitors and residents of tourist destinations as the top priority." He insisted on the strict implementation of health rules, an intensification of checks and additional measures, especially at the country's northern borders.

"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. We must put an end to the dangerous relaxation [of vigilance] because coronavirus is here and is fed by unacceptable phenomena of laxity," Petsas said.

He announced the following measures, mostly in terms of arrivals and especially those coming from the Balkans:

– Those entering the country for non essential reasons from 06:00 on Tuesday 14 July from the border crossing at Promachonas must display a negative COVID test (PCR) conducted in the last 72 hours before the arrival and entry into Greece.

– The Passenger Locator Form remains in effect and must be completed. The minimum for completing the form is 24h instead of 48h before arrival.

– The number of random tests under health protocols will increase.

The government is constantly examining and reviewing the epidemiological data and taking decisions guided chiefly by the need to protect public health, Petsas said.

On his part, Professor of infectious diseases Sotiris Tsiodras pointed out the need for constant vigilance and his concern over the health situation in the Balkans.

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