From June 1 to September 15, mask wearing in Greece because of the COVID-19 pandemic remains mandatory in only health care units, nursing homes and public transportation.
Although mask use is recommended everywhere, including indoors and crowded places, it is no longer compulsory.
Greece confirmed 4,626 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organisation (EODY) said on Wednesday, bringing all confirmed infections since the pandemic began to 3,406,553 (daily change: +0.1 pct).
Of the daily total, reinfections are estimated at 494 in the last 24 hours, while their total since the pandemic began is estimated at 130,499 (3.7 pct of the total positive results).
There are also 19 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 29,619. Of these, 95.6 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.
A total of 161 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 71 years and 92.5 pct have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over. Of the total, 81 (50.31 pct) are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated and 80 (49.69 pct) are fully vaccinated.
Another 4,660 have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.
In addition, 126 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours (daily change: +20 pct). The average admission of patients with COVID-19 to hospitals over the last 7 days was 113.
The median age of new infections is 36 years (range: 0.2 to 112 years), while the median age of the deceased is 80 (range: 0.2 to 106 years).
Greece lifted COVID-19 restrictions in May for foreign and domestic flights ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump.
Meanwhile, Greece is set to make a strong comeback as a post-Covid-19 international tourist destination, according to data released this week by aviation experts Eurocontrol, who report a 6 percent increase in airport traffic compared to the previous week but still down by 6 percent compared to the corresponding week in 2019.
More specifically, Greece is showing an upswing in international airport traffic with arrivals and departures in the May 7-13 period at 94 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels and 1,305 routes.
Indicative of Greece’s upward dynamic, Greek airports welcomed 8.1 million arrivals on 89,690 flights in the first four months of the year, up by 383 percent over the same period in 2021, from 1.7 million on 44,185 flights, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) said this week.
According to Eurocontrol, overall the number of flights across Europe have recouped 86 percent of 2019 levels.
Besides Greece (94 percent), the top 10 states recording over 90 percent of 2019 levels are Norway (101 percent), Turkey (97 percent), Portugal (96 percent), and Spain (93 percent).
In the 19th week of the year, air traffic grew by 1.1 percent compared to the previous week, while a greater recovery is expected in June, when Eurocontrol analysts expect the number of daily flights on to reach 30,000 from 27,207 flights per day over the May 7-13 period.
Eurocontrol analysts are expecting air traffic to pick up significantly in the coming months, forecasting a recovery of 84 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels by the end of the year or approximately 9.3 million flights across Europe for all of 2022.
Elsewhere, after the complete ban on ferry travel between Turkey and Greece which lasted two and a half years, ships once again began crossing the sea this spring – an encouraging sign for Greek tourism. In March and April, 30.000 people arrived on the islands of the Eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese from Turkish ports, and it is estimated that as many as 1000 passengers per day may arrive during the summer months.
Since most ferry companies operating these routes are Turkish, Greek shipping wasn’t affected in any major way by the ban, but local economies on the islands were. During the pandemic, the loss of income on some of these islands due to the lack of tourists arriving from Turkey was felt, especially in the off-season.