Italy, Greece relax Covid-19 restrictions ahead of tourism season

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Italy and Greece have relaxed some COVID-19 restrictions on in a sign that life was increasingly returning to normal before Europe’s peak summer tourist season.

Greece’s civil aviation authority announced that it was lifting all COVID-19 rules for international and domestic flights except for the wearing of face masks during flights and at airports. Previously, air travelers were required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or a recent recovery from the disease.

Under a decree passed by Italy’s health ministry, the country did away with the health pass that had been required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and other venues. The green pass, which showed proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus or a recent negative test, is still required to access hospitals and nursing homes.

Some indoor mask mandates also ended, including inside supermarkets, workplaces and stores. Masks are still required on public transport, in cinemas and in all health care and eldercare facilities.

Visitors to Italy also no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, a complicated and user-unfriendly online form required at airport check-in.

Even with the restrictions increasingly going by the wayside, public health officials urged prudence and stressed that the pandemic was still not over.