Restrictions eased for independent exploration
Greece has lifted diving restrictions eliminating depth limits and allowing diving at archaeological sites and sunken ships without an escort. The move follows a passed 2019 bill easing scuba diving laws and is part of larger group of incentives to encourage the return of international tourists following the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019, the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, a department of Greece’s Ministry of Culture, along with the Ministry of Tourism, designated four ancient shipwrecks to become Greece’s first underwater museums. Prior to the bill’s passage, divers could only enter archaeological sites when accompanied by underwater guides. The new bill largely allows unrestricted diving, including ancient sites.
The first two Underwater Archaeological Parks in the nation are scheduled to open to visitors this summer. The parks are located on the islet of Sapientza, opposite Methoni town and in Navarino Bay in the Pylos area of southwestern Messinia.
As of July 1st, all Greek airports will welcome all international flights and border crossings will be open. With a low infection rate relative to other EU nations, marketing officials are hoping to promote Greece as a place to 'heal' from the pandemic.