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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Updated on 13.05.2021

Dear traveler

We welcome you to Greece and wish you enjoy a wonderful, unforgettable holiday experience. On behalf of the Greek Government and the Greek Ministry of Tourism, we would like you to know that we have made every effort humanly possible for you to be and feel safe in our country. Your health is our absolute and non-negotiable priority.

Greece is opening its borders gradually, in a safe and doable manner. The first stage, from the 19th of April, has some limitations compared to the generalized opening. In the following paragraphs, we describe what applies as of the 19th of April. Information relating to the generalized opening, which will be affected as of the 14th of May, will be announced in due time.

For the protection of your own health, your family’s, as well as that of all those involved in offering you a safe hospitality, we have grouped all the answers to questions you may have regarding the health protocols apply in Greece as of the 19th of April. See here.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Greece to relax restrictions on May 14

Easing of restrictions:

Free travel between prefectures, a shorter curfew and an end to the system obliging people leaving their homes to send messages to number 13033 will go into effect on Friday (May 14), a day before Greece officially opens to tourism from abroad.

Briefly, the measures as of May 14 (Friday) are as follows:

– Daily curfew starts at 00:30 instead of 23:00 daily

– All museums are open (archaeological sites have already opened)

– SMS or text messages are abolished; the systems of click-away (pickup of e-orders) and click-inside (shopping appointments) are abolished

– Travel between prefectures is no longer restricted

In addition, kindergartens reopened on May 17, summer film theaters on May 21, and open performance venues on May 28.

Outdoor events, bars and receptions are expected to reopen in June, with a restriction of up to 100 people (for weddings and baptisms).

 

 OBLIGATIONS FOR EVERY VISITOR IN GREECE

Before arrival:

Every tourist must fill in the special PLF (Passenger Location Form) no later than 23:59 of the day before arriving in Greece. This is done here.

Before departure, the traveler must ensure that he/she has some kind of certification of his health condition. The alternatives for that are as follows:

  • PCR test from a laboratory, maximum 72 hours before entry.
  • Vaccination certificate issued by an appropriate authority.

All certificates must include the critical information in English and the full name must match with that of the passport or other travel document.

 

On arrival:

For travelers arriving in Greece, the following are provided:

  • Sampling RAPID antigen tests at the entrance gates, the selection of individuals drawn from a targeted sampling system, based on the EVA system used in the summer of 2020.
  • Mandatory isolation for tourists who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, following a sampling test. In this case, the travelers and their escorts are transported to quarantine hotels and undergo further PCR tests to confirm the initial diagnosis. Guests will stay in seclusion hotels for at least 10 days, and they will undergo new tests again. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.

Compliance with the health protocols during tourist transport and throughout your entire hospitality in Greece is the decisive factor that will allow for all of us to stay safe and return to our normality. We ask for your understanding and apologize in advance for any additional inconvenience. Thank you for the cooperation, thank you for choosing our country for your vacation and we look forward to welcoming you to Greece.

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Flights

In the first phase of the opening of Greek Tourism, flight restrictions from EU countries will be lifted, as well as from a limited number of other countries (USA, UK, UAE, Serbia and Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda and Singapore).

Furthermore, our country will initially welcome flights only at certain airports (Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kos, Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu). From mid-May onwards, in the framework of the general opening of the tourism industry, all international airports in the country will be allowed to accept flights from abroad.

For the protection of passengers and citizens from COVID-19, the following restrictions apply until 6:00 a.m., May 14th 2021:

- All passengers of international flights arriving in Greece will have to show a negative molecular test (PCR) for COVID-19, taken up to 72 hours before their entry. Upon their arrival, they will also be subject to random testing (rapid tests) as per the procedure described in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), which is a document required to be submitted by all passengers of incoming international flights.

Greek residents who are passengers of international flights leaving Greece are also required to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

- All flight passengers entering Greece will have to self-isolate for seven (7) days, as a precaution, at home or at their sojourn address stated in the PLF form. If they remain in Greece for a period shorter than seven days, then they will have to self-isolate until their departure. In case their test result is positive, they will be quarantined for 14 days.

- Third country citizens, i.e. outside the EU and the Schengen Area, are not allowed to enter Greece. Exceptions apply to residents of the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, Serbia, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Israel.

- Residents of a European Union Member State / Schengen Area country, the U.S.A., U.K., Serbia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, and Singapore will not be subject to the seven-day quarantine applicable to everyone else, provided that\they hold a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19, issued by a national authority in the English language, AND a fourteen (14) day period has elapsed since these passengers were fully vaccinated, or they show a negative result to a molecular PCR test for Covid-19, taken within 72 hrs before their entry in Greece.

 - Flights from the Russian Federation: Russian residents (limited to 4,000 per week) are permitted to enter Greece at the airports of Athens; Thessaloniki; Heraklion, Crete; Corfu; Rhodes; Kos; Mykonos; Santorini; and Chania, Crete. They must also show both documents (i.e. their vaccination certificate and their PCR test), as described above. 

- Until 6 a.m., May 10th 2021, domestic flights across the country will be allowed only for essential travel (i.e., for health / business / family re-uniting reasons, or for returning to place of residence).

Protocol for passengers travelling by air : See more info here.

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Land borders

Land border arrivals for non-essential reasons are allowed from Bulgaria through Promachonas and Nymfea border checkpoints. Travellers will have to fill in and submit the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) one day before they arrive. Upon arrival, they will have to show a negative molecular test (PCR) for Covid-19 taken within 72 hours before they arrive. They will also take a Rapid test for Covid-19 at the entrance checkpoint.

Entry is permitted to residents of EU+ countries, i.e. European Union countries, the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Entry is also allowed to residents of the U.S.A., Serbia, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates.

All travellers entering Greece will have to self-isolate for seven (7) days, as a precaution, at home or at their sojourn address stated in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). If they remain in Greece for a period of time shorter than seven days, then they will have to self-isolate until their departure.

Residents of a European Union Member State and a Schengen Area country, the U.S.A., U.K., Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates will not be subject to the seven-day quarantine applicable to everyone else, if

-  they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and they show a vaccination certificate issued by a national authority in the English language, and a fourteen (14) day period has elapsed since these travellers were fully vaccinated, OR

-  they have a negative result to a molecular PCR test taken within 72 hrs before their entry in Greece.

Travelling from Albania, Turkey, and North Macedonia is allowed for essential reasons only.

Protocol for passengers arriving by land

More information at https://travel.gov.gr/#/

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Αdditional precautionary measures

Face masks must be worn in public areas (indoors and outside), after sending a 13033 Citizen Movement text stating your reason for going out.
  • Visiting a doctor or pharmacy
  • Shopping for basic necessities (eg supermarkets and bakeries)
  • Going to the bank (ATM and basic services)
  • Attending a ceremony such as a funeral (according to strict guidelines)
  • Assisting someone in need (eg an elderly or vulnerable person)
  • Going out for exercise (on foot or by bike) or walking a pet

Accommodation: Tourist accommodation establishment managers are required to create an action plan, to have a health protocol in place for each part of the establishment and be ready to deal with a potential Covid-19 case, in accordance with the current guidelines of the National Public Health Organisation (e.g. hotel quarantine area). See more information here.

Restaurants and cafés / bars reopened as from May 3rd 2021. Tables are set in outdoor spaces ONLY and opening hours are 5.00 a.m. to 10.45 p.m. Up to 6 individuals are allowed per table. Two customers seated on stools are allowed at the bar and a 1.5 m distance must be kept from the next two customers. The use of masks is mandatory for customers waiting for a table, and strongly recommended for those already seated.

Culture/ Entertainment: As of March 22nd, 2021, open-air archaeological sites will be re-opened across the country. Up to three visitors can enter the sites in groups (this limit does not apply to families). Wearing a face mask and practicing physical distancing are obligatory during the visit. Other culture and entertainment places will remain closed until further notice.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, health services and takeaway services will be in operation.

Shopping with Click inside

Greece introduced “click in shop” to allow customers in retail stores. Consumers are given a three-hour period per day to do make purchases in malls and are required to first book an appointment and then send a text message to the five-digit number 13032, which is to be used only to request movement for shopping. Shoppers will need to have proof of appointment from the store/stores they are to shop at (booked via SMS).

Shopping malls and discount parks (outlet stores) will open in Greece under COVID-secure guidelines.  Restaurants and cafes in shopping malls and discount parks will remain closed.

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Travelers’s 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.
  • Avoid contact with animals (dead or alive), meat markets and meat products (such as raw meat).
  • Avoid visiting live bird and animal markets.

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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