Greece is going to allow in the visitors through the border with Bulgaria only if they show a negative coronavirus or COVID-19 test, the government mentioned on Friday, as it attempts to curb the spread of the deadly novel virus string the peak tourism season.

The latest restrictions are going to come into effect at 0300 GMT on Tuesday, the spokesperson of the government Stelios Petsas stated. The test needs to be conducted within 72 hours ahead of the visit.

Greece to Allow Vistors Through Bulgaria Border

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Greece reopened its land border with Bulgaria, a route used by thousands of Europeans arriving in Greece by car, on June 17 ending three months of lockdown. On Thursday, Petsas said that authorities had seen increasing caseloads in some Balkan countries and that they had ramped up checks at the Promachonas border crossing between Bulgaria and Greece.

A health ministry official told Reuters that authorities had confirmed 29 COVID-19 cases arriving through Promachonas in the past 24 hours. "The cases are expected to increase by the end of the day," the official said. Visitors to Greece also need to complete a passenger locator form 24 hours before arrival, the government said, instead of the previous 48 hours ruling.

Greece has managed to contain the spread of the virus mainly due to an early lockdown. Since its first case emerged in February, it has registered 3,672 cases and 193 deaths. The country recently decided to ban entry to Serbian visitors until July 15. The government says that it is "constantly monitoring COVID-19 developments and reviews its decisions accordingly".

(With agency inputs)