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Greece Opens to Tourism: Who Can Come – Safety Rules

Greek tourism makes its debut today opening its borders by air, sea and road to travelers for the summer months after the Covid-19 health crisis brought global travel to a standstill.

“Greece is taking the next step to restore travel flows, always aiming to protect the health of tourism industry professionals, residents at tourist destinations, and visitors,” said government spokesman Stelios Petsas.

Based on European Union guidelines and health experts’ recommendations, the following apply starting today, July 1, for all travel to Greece:

By Air – Flights

– Starting on July 1, all of Greece’s airports are open handling direct international flights (from countries listed below) with the exception of flights to and from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Turkey – which according to the newly released NOTAM will apply until July 15.

– Travelers from *Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay are allowed into the country, according to an EU decision on Tuesday.

– All residents of EU member states and Schengen zone (based on reciprocity), including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Ireland can travel to Greece.

– Third-country nationals (with proof of identification and residence) who have a Greek residence permit as well as family members of EU citizens, health workers and researchers, caregivers, border point employees, seasonal workers, sailors, diplomats, international personnel, military personnel, humanitarian aid workers on duty are allowed into the country.

In regards to non-European citizens (with the exception of the countries listed above*), the Civil Aviation Authority notes that until further notice, there is a temporary prohibition of entry.

– Bans and restrictions on domestic flights in Greece were lifted on May 25.

* Regulations concerning countries on the admission list are subject to change after 14 days, when renewed assessments are made based on epidemiological data from country of origin.

Photo by GTP

By Land – Road Border Points

Entry into Greece by road can be made only through the Promachonas point on the borders with Bulgaria. All other border points (with Albania, Northern Macedonia and Turkey) allow only incoming visitors only for essential travel purposes.

By Sea – Ports

Admission into Greece by sea is allowed through the ports of Patra and Igoumenitsa.

Security Measures at Points of Entry  

ATTENTION: All incoming travelers are required to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) online here 48 hours before travel and will be provided with bar codes that will be scanned on arrival (at airports, ports and border areas) to determine whether visitors will be allowed to proceed to or be screened.

On EU guidance, Greece will be able to use the information provided to identify potential risks to the health of individual travelers as well as to destinations. Based on the data collected, Greek health authorities will proceed with targeted Covid-19 testing.

Quarantine Restrictions

-Passengers screened for Covid-19 (based on PLF form feedback) on arrival can proceed to their destination of choice but are required to self-isolate for 24 hours at their hotels/accommodation and wait for the test result.

-In the case of a positive outcome, the traveler will be moved to a quarantine hotel and undergo treatment. It should be reminded that under the ministry’s action plan, Greece’s islands are linked with the mainland through an interconnected network of emergency health care and medical services.

-If the result is negative, movement restrictions no longer apply.

-The previously enforced 24-hour stay at a designated hotel under Greek state supervision no longer applies.

“We have made the best possible arrangements … the organized plan to welcome visitors to our country has made no concessions with regard to safety and public health,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a cabinet meeting hours before Greece opened its borders to tourists.

Greece is hoping to reach 4 billion euros in tourist revenues down from 18.15 billion euros in 2019. In this direction it is cooperating with travel giant TUI to bring in 1.5 million travelers this year.

*For updates on travel to Greece, follow GTP Headlines. Information reported is based on official press briefings.

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  1. Gail Vlachakis Reply

    Up to today 11/07/2020 the majority of tourists testing positive have entered Greece through the Promahonas boarder! Just saying!!

  2. Sara Reply

    What really bothers me is that Greece wants it all: wants people to travel there hoping they will not be tested and then tests a large number of them. Why don’t they tell each passenger if they have been selected for tests BEFORE they board their planes? It should be easy since it’s all written in the QR code you receive hours before your flight, right? But of course, who in their right mind would board a flight knowing for CERTAIN that they are going to be tested and potentially quarantined? This way Greece would lose too many tourists.
    I really hate the way they are treating us, only wanting our money and not giving us any choice but the one to just avoid Greece.

    • Gail Vlachakis Reply

      Are you saying we (Greece) should act as irresponsibly as the UK? Of course we are going to test people, I personally would prefer that ‘all’ passengers are tested! I would also prefer that people were tested before they fly and quarantine there until the results come through! If positive they don’t come at all, but hey, testing in the UK is already a joke, imagine asking for a test because you want to go on holiday, you know what the answer will be and you know what the outcry would be (and rightly so) from the British public who can’t get tested when they actually live in the UK!! It looks to me that you want it all in your favour, not us!!

  3. Ole Svendsen Reply

    What’s the fine amount of not having the PFL in order upon arrival?

  4. Helga Mueller Reply

    Does anybody happen to know about camping sites? Is it possible to report a camping site’s address as final destination – in case that you have to be tested and self-isolate waiting for the results?

  5. Sharon Allan Reply

    Hi Hotels with water slides and entertainment , will either be allowed August 2020?

  6. Corsica Reply

    Keep in mind that even being negative, if someone who travelled in same flight and tested positive, you will be transferred to a dédicaces hotel for quarantine….

  7. Danijel Reply

    Just open the Evzonoi border pass already for those who go towards Athens or Lefkada/Evia, why must they make a nig circle to Bulgaria and Promachonas, this is too much distant from the western Greece destinations where someone would go. Greek government should open Evzonoi border the sooner the better, otherwise they will lose every tourist and probably make all of us angry not to come even 10 years after corona-bullshitism.
    THANK YOU.

  8. Christina Reply

    I am flying on Sunday to Greece. Applied for the PLF. but I did not get a QR code or confirmation. Only that they will be in contact shortly. This was on Monday. Anyone expecting similar issues?

  9. Xeen Reply

    I just received my QR code for tomorrow trip throught land – VIA EVZONI. So, can I cross border there or not? If not, can I cross border at Promachonas with Evzoni QR code?
    Chaosss Rulezz 😛

  10. Alan Reply

    We have cancelled our holiday, also for the first time in 17years.Mainly because the UK has been badly hit and their are so many selfish idiots that risk a second wave hitting us. We don’t want to risk taking this vile virus into the country. Also, there doesn’t seem to be enough information for visitors regarding the regulations that the hoteliers and smaller accommodations need to adhere to. In fact the apartments we normally stay at are not going to bother opening and I guess there will be many others following suit. The entire holiday experience will be so different to anything encountered before so people should be cautious about travelling anywhere outside of their own borders.

    • Alexandre GIRARD Reply

      This is the wise approach! We also said to ourselves that the mere doubt that we would bring the virus with us into our beloved island is enough not to go. Indeed, numbers are on the rise again where we live, and the whole situation is too volatile. We love Greece, hence we are not going this year!

      • Gail Vlachakis Reply

        Thank you Alexandre,I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy 🙂

  11. John Reply

    My wife and I are planning to fly to Athens in early September. We have already booked 1 night in a hotel in Piraeus then intend take a ferry on a 2 week ‘island hopping’ holiday. We could book a few nights accommodation in advance for the first island, but after that we have no fixed plans. Are we expected to book accommodation in advance for every island and enter the details on the Passenger Locator Form? If so, we won’t be coming.

    • Erisadesu Reply

      Not in advance, but when you visit an island you will be obligated to fill in a form where you state your place of stay. That is necessary because they can easier track where you have been in case you are a carrier of covid. since they will not crosscheck it upon your arrival you can put a random hotel name as your destination. I doubt they check it. But it will be nice to travel responsible and only state the truth.

      • Gail Vlachakis Reply

        If they do put a ‘random hotel’ in the hope or assumption that it will not be checked and then someone on their plane tests positive, the track and trace will then show that they gave false information, which will have legal consequences and of course is morally wrong to put so many other people at risk!

    • Alan Reply

      We have cancelled our holiday, also for the first time in 17years.Mainly because the UK has been badly hit and their are so many selfish idiots that risk a second wave hitting us. We don’t want to risk taking this vile virus into the country. Also, there doesn’t seem to be enough information for visitors regarding the regulations that the hoteliers and smaller accommodations need to adhere to. In fact the apartments we normally stay at are not going to bother opening and I guess there will be many others following suit. The entire holiday experience will be so different to anything encountered before so people should be cautious about travelling anywhere outside of their own borders.

  12. Robert Ferguson Reply

    Banning UK till the 15 th July will cost Greece a lot, people will book other Countries, also its wrong to block the Uk, the UK is not a Country, it is four Countries, we in Northern Ireland have done well for last few weeks only the odd death and very few new cases, we should not be banned thanks to your tules Jet2 stopped all flights for rest of summer.

  13. Bibi Reply

    What about all the ferry people with a ticket to Corfu, the first stop and point of entry for many Adriatic ferries? Will the ferries have to skip that port, will people have to rebook their tickets? Because it’s still on the itineraries and the ferry companies do not have any clues either, they just found out it’s not on the PLF form…

  14. Michael Schneider Reply

    my flight for a two weeks vacation on Kriti is from 7.July with my Son and my Wife. I love Greece, but now we are afraid to come there, because nobody knows, if we go to a quarantine hotel or in our hotel.
    It depends on things, that i cant control. If i would like to cancel my vacation i have to pay more than 3000€ for nothing.

    It could be that it gets an very good holiday but you cant know it before you arrive at your hotel. And this is an incredibble situation to start an holiday with children. Until now i get no QR Code Email. I send the PLF’s 3 Days ago.

  15. Alexandre Reply

    Kalimera!
    This year will be the first after 17 years in a row that we will not be travelling to Greece, because of that regulation. I was still organizing our 3-week trip (end August-beginning of September) last week thanks to the great gtp website for ferries, but this regulation renders any plan impossible, as it creates anxiety until such time you pass the control at the airport and may jeopardize the whole trip with the inherent financial risk… and the only holidays you take in the year. The opacity of the criteria used adds to the trouble, not to talk about the technology – an algorithm will decide on whether or not we can go on with our holiday, seriously?
    I wonder who will be casual enough to take so much risks! Maybe only those holiday makers with flight+hotel on big islands? And even… I thought the plan was to develop another type of tourism in Greece, must have been wrong… So, so very sad…

  16. Xeen Reply

    The main problem is, the only single land border crossing, will simply collapse under flood of travellers. Especially in addition with special COVID measures,
    Travellers have no opportunity to spread into other border crossings to decrease pressure on Promachonas.
    Also – with so much people in just one place, the risk of COVID spreads there as well.

    • Xeen Reply

      Exactly as expected after opening ONLY 1 border crossing.
      Today morning situation at Promahonas – 7km queue, 5 hours delay at border crossing.

      Not very good job with planning. Lets hope officials will respond to situation ASAP.

  17. Wolfgang Maaß Reply

    Cancelled all my hotels in greece and will go to maroc or spain.

    • Gail Vlachakis Reply

      If you fear testing positive, or anyone on your plane testing positive, then I’m glad to hear will be going to Morocco or Spain. I wish you a good holiday and I wish good luck to the people of Morocco or Spain!

  18. Roux Marie-Pascale Reply

    Hello, I have desperately tried to connect to the Platform and fill in the form but unsuccessfully. I get an Error message. I’ve tried from my phone, from Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
    I travel on Saturday the 4rth of July and I don’t know what to do. Can somebody help ?

    • Dolores Reply

      Hello Marie Pascale
      I am right now travelling to Patras. I got my QR only yesterday so it was a bit stressing but here I am.
      I had no problem filling the form actually I filled it 3 times, as I was getting nervous for not receiving the QR code. Then, of course, I received three codes!
      Why don t you try filling the form from another computer?
      Good luck, I hope you can sort it.

  19. Roux Reply

    Hello, I have desperately tried to connect to the Platform and fill in the form but unsuccessfully. I get an Error message. I’ve tried from my phone, from Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
    I travel on Saturday the 4rth of July and I don’t know what to do. Can somebody help ?

  20. Oliver Reply

    I was actually planning to travel with my family from Germany to Greece in August by car. But with this kind of regulations and restrictions I will drop my travel plans. It doesn’t make sense to travel 2000km across Europe to end up in a quarantine hotel. I would have lvoed to have a nice time in Greece and support the Greek tourism economy especially owners of small hotels and restaurants. But under these circumstances no way!!! Sorry Greece, see another time!!! A United Europe is far away. Long live to nationalism.

    • Diana Reply

      You will end up in a quarantine hotel only if you will be tested positive to Covid-19 which is the most logical thing to happen. Do you think it would be normal for you to be tested positive and to be allowed to wonder around and spread the virus to the other residents and/or tourists? I am also planning to travel to Greece from Netherlands by plane in mid-July and I am aware of all the restrictions and regulations that are waiting for me and I completely agree with them. Unfortunately this year ended up being extremely weird and we all have suffered from this epidemic virus. Therefore we all have to adhere to some rules in order to survive this year and to get rid of this virus. It is not nationalism if one country cares about the heath of its residents. Sorry if this message seems angry or something. This was not my intention. I hope you will find a different destination that will not seem so restrictive and that at the same time will provide you with a safe place. Stay safe and have a nice day and summer.

      • Enrico Reply

        The problem is that you are quarantined if you are sitting near a positive person on the plane even if you are okay …

    • Alexandre Reply

      Exactly, the idea of a holiday is to relax, not to stress, and the preparation and travel itself is part of the holiday and relaxing time… I got a message from a Greek friend working on public health in the country who confirmed that for instance all persons travelling from Geneva, Switzerland will be tested, but of course no one says that… Hence, an algorithm. Resorting so suddenly to such an opaque tool testifies to the unpredictability of the situation, governed by the need to keep the health situation at its best level possible, and we fully understand that. The Greek authorities will also fully understand our painful decision to skip the country this year.

    • Sarah Reply

      Those who write similar comments are not really thinking this through… Greece is only saying that *IF* you are chosen for a covid test (which will depend on where you are coming from, i.e. locations that are statistically showing higher covid activity), then you are only asked to wait 24 hours in a single location until the expedited test results are provided. In other words: not all are going to be tested. If you do get chosen because you are coming from a high-activity covid area, then best to redirect your anger at those in your own neighbourhood/city/state/country where fellow citizens are not taking measures to reduce the numbers. Flipping this the other way around – do you want people coming from high covid areas to freely enter your home? And, the bigger point that keeps getting missed: IF you do end up testing positive, then you really ought not be roaming around anywhere, anyhow… or?! No matter whether you are home or abroad, if you test positive, you have to quarantine (for the safety of others) and possibly be hospitalised (especially if you develop critical symptoms)…regardless of where you are! Choosing to leave your house every morning is a risk, and now more so than ever. So choosing to take a holiday and travel abroad during covid is a calculated risk. Your choice to take this calculated risk has NOTHING to do with Greece or Europe or nationalism. A united Europe is still not immune from covid. Let’s take a look across the Atlantic Ocean at the “United” States. Their orange toddler king is a very big nationalist and the country seems to be doing sooooo well against covid, hmm? Covid doesn’t care about politics. However, whether for better or worse, we are all reliant on our politicians and governments – AND MOST OF ALL EACH OTHER – to get us through covid safely (and sanely).

      • DLR Reply

        First and foremost this forum is to educate and discuss travel decisions/protocols that Covid may impact not put forth your political cheap shots. The US and our toddler king will be just fine over here across the Atlantic. A number of our states are as large if not larger than EU Counties and we share no borders, state to state, so our dynamic is quite different. I hope to travel to Greece for the first time late August early September and wish for only the best for Greece and all countries dealing with this virus. I will comply with whatever Greece mandates, but I also understand the frustrations of other travelers.

    • Karin Reply

      Hi Oliver,
      sorry that your travel plans do not work out this summer – same as for most of the world 🙂
      No need to get aggressive: Like any other country in the world, Greece, in accordance with all of Europe, is desperately trying to find a workable balance between keeping Covid numbers in check while enabling as much safe tourism as possible. Trust me that after over 10 years of the toughest economic crisis Greeks are desperate with a current prognosis of less than 25% of last year’s tourism revenue.

      Am just back from a Greek island: So friendly, welcoming and SAFE – and of course beautiful and sunshine guaranteed.

      It is really not helpful to use the “N” word to vent your frustration in the context o EU-WIDE regulation!

    • Gail Vlachakis Reply

      Hi Oliver, if Europe was united at all through this pandemic (which is has not been), then the responsible thing would be to test in each country ‘before’ you actually depart and quarantine there to await the results to come through, then if you test positive you don’t fly! That way you don’t put other passengers on the plane at risk or risk bringing the virus into Greece or any other country! In a ‘United Europe’ everyone would act responsibly adopting the restrictions, but they haven’t!! Up to now Greece has handled the pandemic very well, others unfortunately haven’t!

  21. Ben Reply

    Greece hopes to reach 4 billion from tourism but close land borders except Promahonas!
    Which man in his own minds will close borders from today when days ago put emphasis on tourism recovery from nations entering northern borders?!
    On PLF online paper one can put 2 days ago another borders than Promahonas.Today he takes note that it’s not allowed entering through that borders.
    All the tourism forums in Bulgaria,Romania speak about booking cancellations.How to visit Greece when greek authorities pack tens of thousands on a single entry point?
    My point of view is that greek state put on paper a procedure for PLF,sample testing etc but it has no idea how to manage such a process with the very limited logistic resources that has.The result will be a total mess on country finances and a very hostile attitude from the foreign tourist in years that will come.

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