Unlocking the World

Traveling to Greece during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 4th January 2021
Greece has ancient ruins like the Parthenon, plus some of Europe's loveliest islands.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on January 14.
(CNN) — If you're planning a trip to Greece, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

Greece reopened to some tourists on June 1, but has been under national lockdown measures since November 7, with strict new quarantine measures in place for all arrivals, including Greek nationals.

What's on offer

Ancient monuments, myriad islands, spectacular beaches and vast mountains. Greece attracts millions of visitors each year looking for a sunny seaside escape, or a history-focused trip exploring its long and storied past.
Its popular resorts are perfect for partying during the summer, but there's plenty of space to get away from the crowds, and outside of summer season you'll often find yourself the only tourist around.

Who can go

Residents from EU+ countries (the 27 member states plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and the UK), are allowed into Greece, along with travelers from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
However, until January 7, everyone must quarantine on arrival. See below for details.
Those from other countries are not permitted to travel, unless for essential reasons.

What are the restrictions?

Until January 21, all arrivals must quarantine. Those coming from the UK must quarantine for 10 days. All other permitted travelers must quarantine for seven days at their hotel or home.
All arrivals in Greece, including Greek citizens and permanent residents, must provide a negative test result. This must have been taken within 72 hours of departure, must be written in English and include the name and passport number of the person traveling. This does not apply to children under 10. For full details of the laboratories accepted, see here.
Travelers from the UK must also have a rapid test on arrival in Greece.
All travelers must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to departure. This includes details of where the individual has been and the address they plan to stay at in Greece. Each PLF includes a unique QR code which must be scanned upon arrival at the Greek border.
The QR code will tell you whether you need to have an additional test done at the airport. If you do, you must self-isolate until you have the results -- around 24 hours.

What's the Covid situation?

After a strict lockdown paid off in very low case numbers in the first wave, Greece has seen a rapid rise in cases and deaths since the end of October and has been under full national lockdown since November 7. It has seen a total of 146,688 and 5,354 deaths as of January 14. The government has extended lockdown measures until at least January 18, with all travel between prefectures banned. You can only go out to shop for essentials and exercise locally, with groups limited to three people. Such trips must be certified by texting the authorities (from a Greek phone number) or providing a note with your name, address and the reason for being outdoors.
A curfew has been in place since November 11. It runs from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., with exemptions for those traveling to work, walking pets close to home and for medical reasons.

What can visitors expect?

Cafes, bars and restaurants will remain shut across all of Greece until January 11, meaning there's no chance of sipping a Mythos while watching the sun set over the sparkling Aegean.
Masks are mandatory in public, both indoors and outdoors.

Useful links

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