Greece has taken additional measures at its land borders with neighboring countries in the North with the aim to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The measures do not only affect seasonal workers but also Greek citizens who cross the border for cheap shopping in the neighboring countries, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced on Monday, July 20, that entry to Greece is only allowed for essential movement through specific check-points, and that also Greek citizens will need to fill up the Passenger Location Form even if they cross borders on a short trip.
The new measures go into effect Tuesday midnight, July 22, 2020, until Wednesday, August 4, 2020:
– The entrance for essential movements is allowed only from the border checkpoints of Kakavia, Krystallopigi, Evzoni, Promachonas, Nymfaia and Kipi.
– Greek citizens, those who have a residence permit and the holders of a special identity card for expatriates are also required to fill in the plf on the website travel.gov.gr as well as the electronic announcement of a short trip to the same address.
– Seasonal land workers who are in the country and leave the Greek territory before August 4 will not have the right to enter again until further notice.
“We ask Greek citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to epidemiological burdened areas such as the Balkans are today,” Petsas stressed.
Referring to Covid-19 tests conducted at Kakavia crossing with Albania and Promachonas crossing with Bulgaria, Petsas said that “8 positive cases out of a total of 866 at Kakavia and a total of 170 positive cases in a total of 19,676 tests at Promachonas were recorded July 1-18, 2020.”
He added that “due to the burden on the epidemiological characteristics of the Balkan countries, we took additional measures at the Promachonas border post, while we started extensive targeted tests on our border with Albania.”
Petsas reminded that live briefing by the head of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias will resume as of Tuesday, July 21. The briefing will be once a week.
Live briefings were halted end of May, when Greece believed to have combated the pandemic and one after the other the lockdown restrictions were lifted. At the same time, Greece started more testings.
February 26-May 30: 2,917 confirmed cases
Opening the borders to tourists partially on June 15 and fully on July 1 brought the number of total infections from 3,203 mid-June and 3,409 end of June to over 4,000 on July 19.
So far in July, there have been recorded reportedly 613 confirmed cases with half of them to be “imported.”
The RO indoicator, the “R-naught’ representing the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case, is currently at 0.4 from 0.3 one and a half month after the quarantine, reports news website anatropinews,. adding that “imported cases are not taken into consideration in the RO calculation.”
Worth noting that since Greece made the PLF form mandatory, it is much easier to track the infected people and their contacts than in cases among the local population with the “unsourced” infections to be increasing.