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Greece, Italy lift proof-of-vaccination rules ahead of summer travel

Italy has nixed its Green Pass for most indoor spaces, and Greece will reevaluate vaccine certificates in September

People walk past the foot of the Acropolis hill in Athens on May 1. (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)
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Greece and Italy lifted covid-19 restrictions over the weekend, nixing respective proof-of-vaccination requirements in two of the most popular destinations for Mediterranean vacations.

Greece discarded a requirement Sunday to show proof of vaccination or recovery from covid to enter indoor and outdoor spaces. Greek health minister Thanos Plevris announced the changes last month, citing “epidemiological data” and expert advice.

The country also lifted nearly all covid rules for domestic and international flights, the Associated Press reported, though masks will be required for passengers. Greece’s civil aviation authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Visitors flying to the country from the United States previously had to show proof of vaccination, recovery from the disease or a negative test.

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Greece has seen a recent uptick in coronavirus cases. Daily cases in Greece increased by 16 percent over the past week, with 423 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, according to tracking data compiled by The Washington Post through Monday.

Plevris said last month that the measure is temporary and would be reviewed Sept. 1. Masks, meanwhile, will remain required indoors until June 1.

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Italy also eased restrictions in recent days, scrapping its passenger locator form as of Sunday, and dropping its Green Pass requirement — which demonstrates proof of vaccination, recovery from covid or a negative test result — for places such as restaurants and cinemas. The pass is still required for some settings, including hospitals.

Greece lifted its requirement that visitors fill out a passenger locator form in March.

The Mediterranean countries join a number of other destinations that have relaxed or entirely dropped their pandemic entry requirements in recent months. The United Kingdom lifted its remaining pandemic travel rules in March, joining nations such as Iceland and Norway.