Unlocking the World

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

CNN StaffUpdated 22nd July 2021
Greece has ancient ruins like the Parthenon, plus some of Europe's loveliest islands.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you're fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on July 22.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Greece, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

After a winter of lockdown, Greece is starting to reopen to some tourists without the need for quarantine, even though some restrictions remain in place.

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

Travelers from the following countries may now travel to Greece without quarantine requirements: EU and Schengen Area countries, USA, UK, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE and Ukraine.
From July 8, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Moldova, and Brunei will be added to this list.
Travelers from Montenegro and the Russian Federation are also allowed entry, with different regulations. See below.
Officials says targeted rapid checks will be carried out at entry points and quarantine hotels are ready to accommodate those who test positive during this process.

What are the restrictions?

Travelers from the main bloc of countries allowed entry may skip quarantine, provided they have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel, proof of infection within the past 2-9 months, or proof they've been fully vaccinated, and completed their cycle at least 14 days earlier. Acceptable vaccines are Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novovax, Johnson + Johnson, Sinovac, Sputnik, Cansino and Sinopharm. This is in deviation from official EU policy, which is to only admit those who have received EU-approved vaccines.
Arrivals from Montenegro must present both a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test.
Arrivals from the Russian Federation must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours. Vaccination status does not matter for these passengers.
Negative PCR tests 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.
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.
Greece's inter-island ferries are fully operational, but passengers over the age of 12 must complete a health declaration and show proof of a recent negative Covid test or full vaccination 14 days before travel.

What's the Covid situation?

Greece has weathered the Covid storm better than many countries in Europe, but surges have still resulted in nationwide lockdown measures. The country has seen 466,441 Covid cases and a total of 12,846 deaths as of July 22. Full vaccinations currently stand at close to 4,734,403 -- or 44.18% of the population.

What can visitors expect?

Cafes, bars and restaurants are now open across Greece, provided they can accommodate customers in open outdoor seating areas. That means there's now a chance of sipping a Mythos beer and scarfing down some souvlaki while watching the sun set over the sparkling Aegean.
A nationwide curfew in place since last November runs from 1:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. If the infection rates stay steady, it is set to be abolished entirely in July. Shops have reopened but must limit numbers.
Museums and archeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, have also reopened.

Useful links

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