Unlocking the World

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

CNN StaffUpdated 20th April 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 April 20.
(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

Residents from the European Union, the United States, the UK, Israel, Serbia and the UAE can all now visit Greece without the need for quarantine on arrival, provided they have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel or proof they've been fully vaccinated. This also applies to visitors from Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
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.
Direct international flights can now travel to Athens and the east coast city of Thessaloniki, as well as Greece's most popular vacation destinations in Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu.
The country's tourism minister, Harry Theoharis, says the country will open fully to tourism on May 14, but until then quarantine restrictions apply to other nations permitted to travel to Greece, including those from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Those from other countries are not permitted to travel, unless for essential reasons.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals beyond those now excused must quarantine for seven days at their hotel or home. They must provide a negative test result.
Negative 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.

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 more than 316,879 Covid cases and a total of 9,540 deaths as of April 20. Vaccinations currently stand at close to 772,000 -- or 7.2% of the population.
Some lockdown measures have eased, and, as of April 3, travel between prefectures is allowed though only on weekends. Hair salons, have reopened, by appointment only. A number of archeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, have also re-opened.
A nationwide curfew has been in place since last November runs from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. but now starts two hours later at weekends. Nonessential shops have been closed, but an ease of restrictions on small shops was announced March 31, with customer visits allowed by appointment.

What can visitors expect?

Though cafes, bars and restaurants remain shut across all of Greece plenty offer takeaways meaning there's still a chance of sipping a Mythos beer while watching the sun set over the sparkling Aegean.
Masks are mandatory in public, both indoors and outdoors.

Useful links

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