Greece will drop most mask restrictions from June 1 to mid-September, a period coinciding with the height of its vital tourism season, the health minister said Wednesday.

Thanos Plevris said masks will no longer be mandatory in most areas including on planes and intercity travel, though they will remain in force in hospitals, elderly care homes and city transport.

While the failure to wear a mask will no longer carry a fine, their use is still recommended, the minister said.

Education facilities and ferries will be subject to a later announcement, he said.

Plevris said last month that Greece was trying to “coexist” with COVID-19.

The government early this year began removing restrictions to boost tourism, which accounts for around a quarter of national income.

Mandatory screening tests for travelers who hold a European vaccination certificate were scrapped in February, before the tourism season launched in March.

Vaccine passes in restaurants, bars and shops have also been dropped.

Over 29,000 people in Greece have died from causes attributed to the virus, with over 3.4 million cases recorded so far.
Another 19 deaths were announced on Wednesday.

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