Unlocking the World

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

CNN StaffUpdated 15th 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 15.
(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

Greece reopened to some tourists in summer 2020, but has been under national lockdown measures since early November last year, 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, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the UAE.
From next week, arrivals from the EU and five other countries will be exempt from quarantine provided they have a recent negative test. See below for details. Until then, quarantine remains mandatory. (See below)
Those from other countries are not permitted to travel, unless for essential reasons.
Officials have said the country intends to open its borders mid-May to all travelers who are vaccinated, have antibodies or test negative.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals must quarantine for seven days at their hotel or home. From next week, EU citizens plus those of the United States, Britain, Serbia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, will be able to visit without quarantine if they test negative or have been fully vaccinated.
At present, 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.
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 304,000 Covid cases and a total of 9,135 deaths as of April 15 Vaccinations currently stand at close to 765,00 -- or 7.13% 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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