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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Updated on September 13, 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Greece has timely taken all necessary measures that effectively slowed down its spread in the country. As a result, Greece is now considered one of the safest countries worldwide. See here detailed data about the progress of the pandemic in Greece.

The government plan for the lifting of imposed restrictions is assessed and updated, based on the daily epidemiological data. The Greek government asks that a safe distance should be kept among shop owners and customers; that a limit be imposed on the number of customers per square footage when indoors; and that a face mask be used in all public transport means, in taxis, hospitals and when visiting government services buildings and certain shops.

See the Health Protocols for Tourism Businesses here

Lifting of restrictions for visitors

Bear in mind that Greece is among the safe tourist destinations! We have grouped all the answers to questions you may have while you prepare for your trip to Greece. See here.

Twenty four hours before entering Greece, visitors will have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) where they will provide their contact details in the country. Targeted and random testing will take place to aid the epidemiological research. 

Please, download the PLF here.

Intenational Flights

International flights are allowed into all airports in Greece. Restrictions apply on flights from non-EU countries.

For the moment, flights are allowed from Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, South Korea, Rwanda, Uruguay, Thailand, Tunisia, China*.

As of Tuesday July 28th, 2020, passengers of flights from Bulgaria and Romania to Greece will be required to have a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. This does not apply to Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece and travellers for essential professional reasons. 

*Under reciprocity

 Protocol for passengers arriving by air: More information at https://travel.gov.gr/#/

Land borders

Land border arrivals from Bulgaria are allowed through Promachonas border station. Entry from other border stations with Bulgaria is allowed for essential travel. With regards to Albania, North Macedonia and Turkey, entry is allowed for essential travel. All travellers entering the Promachonas border station are obliged to present a negative molecular test (PCR) taken within 72 hours before their arrival. 

Protocol for passengers arriving by land: More information at https://travel.gov.gr/#/

Arrivals by sea

Arrivals by sea are allowed only at Corfu, Patras and Igoumenitsa ports.

Protocol for passengers arriving by sea: More information at https://travel.gov.gr/#/

As of August 1st, cruise ships are allowed to dock at Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion Crete, Volos, Corfu and Katakolo harbours (as Ports of Entry). They can then sail to any other Greek harbour. In accordance with the EU Healthy Gateways, Greek authorities will supervise the implementation of the necessary hygiene measures, as adapted to Greek Law and local conditions.

Actions are currently in effect and are as follows:

  • Open-air archaeological sites re-opened on 18 May; museums re-opened on 15 June. The use of masks and hand sanitisers is recommended, as well as keeping a physical distance. Museum visitors are required to wear face masks.
  • Bars, cafés, coffee shops and restaurants re-opened on 25 May. The staff isrequired to wear a mask or face covering, while customers are encouraged to wear a mask.
  • Organised beaches in the wider Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area re-opened on May, as elsewhere in Greece, but must adhere to a cap of 40 people per 1,000 square meters and a distance of at least 4 metres between umbrellas.
  • City parks and green spaces re-opened on 4 May.
  • The mandatory use of a face mask in public transport, taxis, hospitals, elevators, and  public services such as supermarkets, hairdressers and other retail spaces.
  • Social distancing measures are in place in supermarkets and pharmacies allowing one person per 15 square metres. Hand sanitiser pumps have been installed at shop entrances and exits for compulsory use by customers. Cash transactions are to be avoided where possible.
  • Churches have re-opened for public services with reduced capacity.
  • Open-air cinemas re-opened on 1 June (with capacity restrictions). Open-air cinemas operate at 75% capacity. Films are screened without an intermission and canteens remain open throughout the screening so as to avoid overcrowding. Every two or four seats there is a vacant one. Health protection rules are to be followed on the premises; customers should maintain a physical distance at the ticket booth and prefer contactless card payments. Pre-purchase of an e-ticket is also recommended, where available.

***From August 11, all bars and clubs in the Metopolitan Area of Thessaloniki are not allowed to operate between the hours of 12 midnight and 7am.,

Shopping in Thessaloniki

All categories of retail shops have re-opened as of 18 May (hairdressers, beauticians, garden centres, electrical outlets, shopping malls - minus food outlets - and department stores) with adherence to social distancing. 

Thessaloniki's Hotels

Year-round hotels are now open. Seasonal hotels re-opened on 15 June. 

Going to an Event?

Most major public events and many performances have been postponed or cancelled. We are doing our best to keep up with this evolving situation, but recommend that you check directly with the event organiser or host venue for confirmation either on their website or Facebook page. See here all the upcoming events of Thessaloniki.

While in Thessaloniki

If you notice any symptoms related to COVID-19, please call the National Organisation of Public Health at 1135. We also recommend reading the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 – Advice for travellers by the National Organisation of Public Health.

Visit #greecefromhome

It’s time to stay safe and connected, being inspired and learning – maybe more now than ever before.
Visit our webpage #greecefromhome or stay tuned on our Greece from Home YouTube Channel where we share our love for Greece – connecting you with Greeks doing amazing things and letting you experience the best of Greece right now.
At the same time, sit back, relax and let our Facebook postsInstaPosts, Tweets and Pinterest boards entertain you! Till we meet again #staysafe.

  • Thessaloniki: The Thessaloniki Tourism Organization has released a video introducing a virtual reality (VR) travel application launched to promote Thessaloniki’s sites of interest to potential travelers to visit once it is safe to travel again. Thessaloniki’s VR app is available on Google Play and the App Store.
Travelers advice

The risk for travelers is considered high. It is recommended that travelers avoid nonessential travel to areas with local transmission of COVID-19. There is no vaccine against this novel corona virus.

If you are travelling to areas with local transmission of COVID-19, you should:
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or a disinfectant, especially after coughing or sneezing, before handling and consuming food.
  • Avoid any contact with patients who are ill with respiratory symptoms.
  • During your stay in areas with local transmission of COVID-19 you should:
  • Postpone your trip if you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as cough or you have difficulty to breathe.
  • Cover your mouth and your nose with a tissue or with your elbow (not with your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid any contact with other persons if you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough or you have difficulty to breathe.

After your return from areas with local transmission of COVID-19:
  • Watch your health constantly for 14 days.
  • In case you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as respiratory failure or cough 14 days after your return, it is recommended to stay at home and seek immediately medical care, mentioning your recent trip or communicate with the National Public Health Organisation in Greece (1135, 210-5212054).
For further information by the National Public Health Organisation click here.

See also the advice to incoming travellers provided by the General Secretariat for Civil Protectionhere.

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