Can I Travel to Greece Again? And Other FAQs

All the key developments regarding the coronavirus measures in Greece, and the re-opening of the country to international tourism - regularly updated.


Last Updated: 6/4/2021

Summer is approaching again leading many to ask: Can I travel to Greece again?

What are the travel requirements to enter Greece? Does one need to be vaccinated to travel to Greece? (Short answer no: only a negative PCR test is required).

In this article we will seek to provide the most up-date-information about the situation in Greece and developments regarding tourism and international travel to the country. As the situation is likely to remain fluid, we will be regularly updating this article with the latest developments.

Greece’s Tourism Minister has announced that Greece will be open to tourists this summer. Traveling is to be made easier, with no requirement that visitors self-isolate – unless they test positive for Covid-19.

All travelers will, however, be required to provide a document proving that they have either:

  • been vaccinated,
  • have tested negative, or
  • have recovered from the disease and have antibodies.

The new procedure is set to be tested in April, with travelers from the EU. If all goes well, it will then be applied to all travelers on May 14 (or possibly sooner, according to a recent statement by the Tourism Minister). More details regarding the new procedures and regulations will be added to this article as they are announced.

Below you will find the answers to frequently asked questions about if and how one might travel to Greece right now.

IS GREECE OPEN TO TOURISM RIGHT NOW?

The simplest answer to this question as things currently stand is no. The country is under a state of lockdown, meaning that only essential travel is permitted within the country, and restrictions apply at a large number of businesses. Residents are only permitted to leave their homes for specific reasons. Sites such as archaeological sites and museums are shut.

Restaurants and bars remain closed to onsite dining (although takeaway and delivery services are permitted).

Greece continues to be open to international travel from within the EU+ and some third countries provided they observe the travel protocol in place (see below).

Note that all travelers entering Greece  must currently place themselves in self isolation for 7 days upon arrival at the address listed on the Passenger Locator Form (PLF – see below). If the duration of a traveler’s trip is less than 7 days, then they must remain in quarantine for the duration of the trip.

FROM WHICH EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IS AIR TRAVEL ALLOWED TO GREECE?

Travelers from EU+ countries can fly to Greece (the EU+ consists of the EU plus Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland).

All travelers flying to Greece are obliged to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before travel and bear the name and passport number of the traveler. Travelers will also be subject to sample rapid antigen testing.

Additionally, until at least 22/3/2021, travelers will have to fill a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) – see below for details.

All travelers entering Greece must also place themselves in self isolation for 7 days upon arrival at the address listed on the PLF. If the duration of a traveler’s trip is less than 7 days, then they must remain in quarantine for the duration of the trip.

For travelers from the UK, to end their quarantine after 7 days they must undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 after the seven day period. Only if the test is negative will they be permitted to end their self-isolation.

Passenger Locator Forms and more information are available here.

CAN I TRAVEL FROM OUTSIDE OF THE EU (and EU +)?

The following regulations and restrictions are currently in effect:

Greece remains aligned with advice from the European Commission in determining if a non-EU+ country is considered at high risk of infection and at the moment is allowing nationals from the following 9 non-EU+ countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Rwanda, Israel, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom.

Permanent residents of other countries are allowed to travel to Greece only for essential travel.

All travelers flying to Greece are obliged to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before travel. Travelers will also be subject to sample testing.

Additionally, until at least 19/4/2021, travelers will have to fill a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) – see below for details.

All travelers entering Greece must also place themselves in self isolation for 7 days upon arrival at the address listed on the PLF. If the duration of a traveler’s trip is less than 7 days, then they must remain in quarantine for the duration of the trip.

Passengers arriving from the UK and UAE (regardless of nationality), will be subjected to Covid-19 diagnostic rapid test in addition to the negative molecular test result (PCR) for Covid-19 conducted up to 72 hours before arrival. Travelers from the UK must also undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 after the seven day period, in order to end their quarantine. 

Permanent residents of Israel, meanwhile, are exempted from quarantine restrictions if they hold a certificate of vaccination in English, issued by a public authority at least 14 days before arrival in Greece.

The number of permanent residents of Russia allowed into the country per week is currently 4000. Flights from Russia may land at the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki and Irakleio (Heraklion) only.

The HCAA notes that Greek repatriation programs are excluded from all aviation directives.

CAN I VISIT GREECE FROM THE USA?

To date, the US remains among the non-EU countries for which the EU recommends travel restrictions due to a relatively high prevalence of Covid-19. As such, Greece has extended the ban on non-essential travel from the US.

What is the EU+?

The EU+ consists of the EU plus Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO BEFORE TRAVELING TO GREECE? WHEN I ARRIVE WILL I NEED TO GO INTO QUARANTINE?

All travelers entering Greece must place themselves in self isolation for 7 days upon arrival at the address listed on the PLF. If the duration of a traveler’s trip is less than 7 days, then they must remain in quarantine for the duration of the trip. (Permanent residents of Israel are exempted from the 7-day quarantine if they hold a certificate of vaccination in English, issued by a public authority at least 14 days before arrival in Greece.)

All international travelers flying to Greece will have to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival, performed up to 72 hours prior to entering the country.

Until at least 19/4/2021, all international travelers arriving to Greece must fill a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) more than 24 hours before entering the country at the latest. Upon submission of the PLF, travelers will receive an email confirmation.

On the day they are to travel (at 00.01), each passenger will receive a unique QR code on the basis of their submitted PLF which they will have to show (either on their mobile phone or printed) upon arrival to screening personnel.

Depending on the QR code, travelers will then be directed either to the exit, or to a screening area, where they will be tested for COVID-19. Those selected to be tested will still be free to move on immediately to their final destinations as declared in their PLF.

If the test result is positive, the visitor will be notified and quarantined under supervision for 14 days. Only passengers who test positive will be notified.

The Greek Government writes:

As of July 9th 2020, all travelers must complete their PLF at least 24 hours before entering the country, providing detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece. In case of multiple stays, they are required to provide the address for the first 24 hours at least.

Travelers will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the PLF.

Travelers will receive the PLF with their unique Quick Response (QR) code on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece (at midnight) and will be notified via email (the QR code will be provided in a link in the confirmation email).

The PLF can also be found on the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr

It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free, prior to their arrival in Greece.

All travelers must comply with all of the necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and physical distancing) according to local guidance.

IF I LAND IN ATHENS CAN I TRAVEL TO OTHER PARTS OF GREECE?

According to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, domestic flights can be boarded for essential travels only – including health, business, family reunification, or to return to one’s permanent residence.

However, a flight connection within the country is not considered domestic traveling: a transit flight counts as one trip.

For example, if your destination is a Greek island and you have booked a transit flight through Athens, you may proceed with your trip provided you clearly indicate your final destination on the PLF.

According to the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, passengers with a connecting flight in Greece must carry their PLF and negative Covid-19 test result – conducted up to 72 hours prior to boarding – until their final destination is reached.

If you plan to land in Athens or Thessaloniki and travel to another part of the country through other means (ferry / car), or a domestic flight at a later date (i.e. not a connecting flight) you must be able to justify your trip with one of the following reasons:

  • Health
  • Family reunification (parents-offspring)
  • Return to permanent residence
  • Work

If you are traveling for health reasons, you must carry with you a written proof from your doctor.

If you are traveling to be reunited with a parent, you must write and carry with you a signed declaration clearly stating your name and your parental link with the family member.

If you are returning to your permanent residence you must carry official proof of that residence (such as the Greek E1 Income Tax Form).

If you are traveling for work, you must carry a signed document from your employer that justifies your travel or, if you are self-employed, a self-written document.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PROCEDURE WHEN I FLY TO GREECE?

Via the government website:

Protocol for air arrivals

· Arrival at the entry gate.

· Transfer to the area where the screening personnel are located. Travelers are requested to show their QR code either on their mobile phone screen or in print. If travel departure begins prior to the day of arrival, travelers are allowed to board after showing the confirmation email (and not necessarily the QR code which is scheduled to arrive during their trip.)

· Depending on their QR code/confirmation, travelers are directed either to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or to the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).

· Upon completion of the test, travelers are directed towards the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).

· The test results are expected to become available within 24 hours. During that time, passengers who are tested are advised to practice social distancing according to local guidelines and self monitoring for symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. In case of such symptoms, medical advice and/or contact with the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operations Centre should be immediately sought. Only in case they test positive, the authorities will contact them and proceed with the health protocol in place. Otherwise, they may continue with their trip, adhering to the general public health safety guidelines.

CAN I COME TO GREECE BY BOAT?

As of November 9, international arrivals by sea are prohibited.

There will be no connection from/ to Turkey and Albania until November 30, with the exception of cargo ships.

CAN I COME TO GREECE BY CAR?

The only Greek land border crossing that is open to travel is the Promachonas crossing on the border with Bulgaria. The other rossings are closed except for Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece, transport workers and travellers for essential professional reasons (read more about the special rules regarding these crossings here).

Οnly travelers who have been tested for Covid-19 no more than 72 hours before crossing the border (and who can supply their negative test results to authorities) will be permitted to cross the border.

Read more at travel.gov.gr


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