Three popular tourist countries joined the list of countries that have simplified anti-COVID entry rules this week: Greece, Bulgaria and Malta. The decision came after monitoring the current epidemiological situation and statements by the authorities that the coronavirus no longer poses a threat and serious health consequences.
Thus, the trio of European countries joined the ranks of the states of the European Union and the European Economic Area, which have canceled all their anti-COVID measures and now allow free entry for all travelers, regardless of their country of origin. We list them:
Greece announced the lifting of border bans for tourism. Thus, under the new rules, all travelers, regardless of their country of origin and vaccination status, will be allowed to enter the country without restrictions starting from May 2 – by the beginning of the beach season. In this regard, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that once the new decision comes into effect, arriving travelers will no longer need to provide any evidence of COVID-19.
Previously, travelers entering Greece were also required to complete a search form passengers. However, the requirement has now been lifted.
Bulgaria has also made changes to its entry rules for certain groups of travelers. Arrivals from the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and North Macedonia can now enter Bulgaria without restrictions. This means that travelers from the aforementioned countries do not need to have a valid certificate of vaccination, recovery or testing when traveling to this Balkan country.
The Bulgarian authorities explained that travelers from countries that are not on the exemption list still need to provide proof of COVID-19. Bulgaria accepts vaccination certificates issued within the last 270 days, health certificates issued within the last 180 days, as well as PCR and rapid antigen tests.
In addition to the two aforementioned countries, the Maltese authorities announced last week that the country will now apply less stringent rules for tourists willing to visit their country. So far, Malta has allowed entry without restrictions only to those who could present a valid certificate of vaccination and did not accept other documents at all – on recovery or negative tests.
Vaccination certificates are considered valid when entering Malta only if if the primary vaccination was carried out within the last three months. Those who were vaccinated more than 90 days ago need to be revaccinated in order for their health pass to be recognized when they enter Malta.
However, under the new rules, tourists who have recovered from the coronavirus, as well as those who have recently tested negative for COVID-19, can now enter Malta without having to comply with any additional anti-COVID rules.
“Entering tourists traveling to Malta from a red-listed country will be admitted with a negative PCR test or a recognized Covid recovery certificate,” Malta’s official tourism portal Visit Malta said in a statement.
Authorities stressed that test and refurbishment certificates must comply with expiration rules in order to be recognized upon arrival.
A test certificate is accepted in Malta if it proves that the wearer has been tested within 72 hours prior to arrival. On the other hand, a recovery certificate is accepted provided that it proves that its owner has recovered from the virus within the last 180 days.
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