A staff member of the Greek National Public Health Organiztion (EODY), Katerina Trikalioti (L), in protective gear, performs a COVID-19 test on Koufonissi island, Greece | Photo: EPA/Y. Kolesidis
A staff member of the Greek National Public Health Organiztion (EODY), Katerina Trikalioti (L), in protective gear, performs a COVID-19 test on Koufonissi island, Greece | Photo: EPA/Y. Kolesidis

Thousands of Albanians who work in Greece have been unable to re-enter the country. New anti-coronavirus rules imposed by Athens require them to be COVID-tested three days before they are allowed across the border.

Thousands of Albanians who work in Greece were stuck at the border on Friday, August 14, while trying to enter the country before a new measure took effect that requires presenting certification of a negative coronavirus test in order to enter the country, Albanian police said. 


At the border crossing of Kakavia, in southern Albania, a 20km-long queue of over 4,000 cars formed following the announcement that the new measures launched by the government in Athens would take effect.

From August 16, a maximum of 750 people from Albania are allowed to enter Greece daily, and each must provide certification of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. They will then have to spend a week in quarantine. 

Faster diagnostic checks 

Several thousand Albanians work in Greece, mostly in the agricultural sector, and in the summer they return to their country. The Albanian foreign ministry issued a statement saying Greek authorities are committed to speeding up the current procedure at the border, increasing from 200 tests per hour to 300.

The coronavirus situation has also worsened in Albania in the past 24 hours, with a record number of 154 infections. More than 210 people have died in the country due to COVID-19 since the start of the epidemic. 

Doctors warn of a second wave of the virus, while authorities have complained about the public's lack of respect for safety measures.
 

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