Greece Travel Restrictions: What You Need to Know Before Travelling to Greece during COVID-19

From beautiful villages and ancient monuments to the loveliest islands with perfectly clear blue water, Greece is no doubt a heaven on earth - and travelling to this wonderful country has no longer been a dream since May 14, 2021. The Greece government has decided to restart its tourism industry and open its doors to visitors regardless of the COVID-19 outbreak - with safety measurements and travel restrictions in place. The quarantine requirement has also been lifted for the European Member States and several other countries whose residents wish to spend their holiday in Greece.

Greece Travel Restrictions

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash 

Our CabinZero editorial team has created a list of information you need to know before travelling to this country - the summary of the COVID-19 situation, entry requirements and safety measurements in place. 

Summary of COVID-19 Situation in Greece

In Greece, from January 3rd, 2020 to September 30th 2021, there have been 653,535 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 14,795 deaths, reported to WHO. As of September 26th, 2021, a total of 12,066,901 vaccine doses have been administered.

Total Coronavirus cases in Greece

Total Coronavirus cases in Greece - Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Is Greece on the amber list?

Yes. Greece is currently on the amber list according to the UK’s government website. If you wish to enter England from Greece, you must follow rules for amber list countries, which can be found here.

Entry Requirements to Greece: All You Need to Know 

Who is allowed to enter Greece without quarantine? - EU and Schengen Area countries, USA, UK, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, UAE and Ukraine. 

Passengers can enter Greece through all international ports and airports. If you are a non-EU citizen, it is recommended that you take direct flights to Greece, otherwise you should follow the stopover country safety regulations. Land travels to Greece are permitted through the entry gates of Promachonas, Ormenio, Evzonoi, Nymfaia, Niki, Doirani, Kristallopigi, Kipi*, Kakavia, Kastanies* and Exohi on a 24h basis - with the limit of 1500 passengers per week for Kipi and Kastanies land borders. 

Passengers from the countries listed above are allowed to enter Greece if they can provide the following documents - which must contain the holder’s key information such as full name and date of birth that match those on their passport or any other recognised travel document:

A COVID-19 vaccination certificate: at least 14 days after the second shot (applied for the 2-shot vaccines). The approved vaccines for Greece include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, Sputnik V, Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm among others.

The vaccination certificates must be issued by a public authority of each country, in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. It must include the traveller’s name, the type of vaccination they received and dose(s) injected, and the date of vaccination. 

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result: A PCR test result that is not older than 72 hours when entering Greece; or a rapid test result that is not older than 48 hours. 

If you have recovered from COVID-19, a certificate of recovery issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory is required. The recovery certificate is issued 30 days after the date of the positive test result and is valid for 180 days after it. 

Passenger Locator Form (PLF): You are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form no later than one day before you enter Greece - with information on your departure location, the duration of your previous stays in other countries and the address while you stay in Greece. You will receive a QR code via email, which must be scanned when you arrive at the Greek border. If you’re travelling with your family, one PFL form is required per family. 

Travellers may be subjected to a mandatory random health screening system, which means they might need to undergo a rapid test. In the case they refuse to do so, the authorities have the right to reject their entry to the country. Only children under the age of 12 will not need to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test. 

>> Read more: Top 15 Greek Food You Can't Miss 

What If You Test Positive When in Greece?

If your test result shows positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test. If you still show symptoms after the period, you must continue to self-isolate until you are free of symptoms for 3 days. At the end of the quarantine period, you will need to take an RAT test (an antigen test). If the result shows positive, you should take another test 48 hours later. If you are negative, you can end the self-isolation period.

Depending on the circumstances, you can choose to self-isolate in your current accommodation or will be asked to quarantine in a state-provided quarantine facility - the expenses will be covered by the Greek government. You should be able to receive further advice on self-isolation requirements from the local authorities. You can quarantine yourself in the booked hotel only if it’s a 4* or 5* hotel and provides the quarantine serviced rooms as informed to the Civil Protection authorities.

If you don’t follow the quarantine restrictions, you may get a fine from the Hellenic Police up to €5000. 

What If You Are Unvaccinated?

If you have no proof of recovery from COVID-19 or have not been fully vaccinated, this is what you should know:

  • Travels by plane, train and bus are permitted subject to either a certified negative PCR test no longer than 72 hours before your arrival, or a certified rapid (antigen) test within 48 hours of your arrival. 
  • You will not be permitted to partake in sports activities or enter stadiums.
  • If you wish to enter public spaces including restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cinemas, theatres, museums, and archaeological sites, you have to present a negative rapid test taken up to 48 hours before entry. 
  • If you don’t follow these restrictions, you may be fined up to €5000

Greece Travel Advice during COVID-19

You should wear a protective mask when you arrive at the airport, as all staff and passengers are required to do so. 

During your visit to archaeological sites, you must wear a mask and carry out the physical distancing measures. Archaeological sites are open with a limit number of 20 people at the same time. 

Greece Travel Advice during COVID-19

Photo by Constantinos Kollias on Unsplash 

Up to 80 people are allowed in 1000m2 at the beach area. Family members can share 1 umbrella, however, if you’re not with a family, you can only share an umbrella with one other person.

Public transportation will operate with 65% of capacity, while tours and sightseeing buses will operate with 85% of capacity. Theatres, concerts and other types of performances are allowed. 

Restaurants, cafes and bars offer both outdoor and indoor services - up to a maximum of 85% capacity and the limit number of people per table are 10. You must wear a mask while waiting for a table. 

Indoor entertainment venues like restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, music spaces, theatres and cinemas will ask you to show an official certificate of vaccination (14 days since the last shot) or recovery (within the last 6 months and a minimum of 30 days since the first positive result) in the form of paper or digital certificates. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you will be asked to show a negative rapid test (at €10) taken within the last 48 hours. Some venues have the option to only let the vaccinated guests in, so you should bear this in mind. Customers must be seated to be served at bars and clubs. 

People under 18 years of age are required to have taken a COVID-19 self-test when entering all indoor venues. 

Indoor venues are using signage to inform customers about their COVID-19 safety levels: 

  • COVID-free: Only guests who are able to show an official certificate of a full vaccination or recovery can enter.
  • Mixed space: Unvaccinated guests who can provide a negative PCR (taken within the last 72 hours) or rapid test (taken within the last 48 hours) can enter. 
  • Fully vaccinated staff: All staff have been vaccinated. 

You will need to put on a mask in outdoor spaces and indoors such as public transports, shops, taxis or private communal areas in hotels, etc.). You don’t need to do so in uncrowded places. 

There are also other additional and temporary restrictions in place in some destinations, such as a curfew between 1-5 am, so make sure you ask your hotel or holiday provider for more details regarding these measurements. 

You can travel inter-islands in Greece, but passengers over 12 years of age must fill in a health declaration form and show a negative COVID-19 test result or full vaccination 14 days prior to departure. 

Understand what your insurance will cover under any unforeseen events such as cancellations or medical emergencies. 

travelling to Greece during COVID-19

Photo by Harrison Fitts on Unsplash 

For more information on travelling to Greece during COVID-19, visit the Greece government Protocol for Arrivals here

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