The Greek government on Friday afternoon announced a series of measures, similar to other EU countries, to prevent the spread of a new strain of the Covid-19 virus, called by international media as the “Botswana variant” (B.1.1.529).

Following a recommendation by a blue-chip public health committee, Athens said only Greek citizens and non-citizens traveling on an “essential basis” may arrive in the country from Botswana, Namibia, Lesoto, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.

Even for the above, a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours, regardless of vaccination status, will be required for travel to Greece from the aforementioned countries.

Non-Greek citizens traveling to Greece for the aforementioned countries must also have a must present a permit issued by their respective consular authorities in absence of a Greek consular representative in the country from where they have departed.

All passengers from those southern African countries will be screened with a rapid antigen test upon arrival at a Greek airport.

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