connect with us
Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Greece to Consider Opening to Travel from United States

At the end of July, Greece will consider allowing the entry of travelers from the United States, according to the government’s spokesman, Stelios Petsas.

Referring to the lifting of Greece’s ban on direct flights from the United Kingdom on July 15 and from Sweden as of July 22, Petsas said the easing of travel restrictions will also be considered for other countries.

“Depending on the development of epidemiological data, we will consider opening to other countries, such as the United States, from the end of July,” he said on Monday during a media briefing.

The government’s spokesman added that in such a case, travelers from the US will be obliged to present a negative molecular test result (PCR) for coronavirus (Covid-19) upon arrival. (The test must be performed up to 72 hours before travelers enter Greece from the US.)

Greece's government spokesman, Stelios Petsas. Photo source: Media.Gov.gr

The announcement followed a meeting of government officials, chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Monday morning.

Given the increase of “imported” Covid-19 positive cases in Greece recently, Petsas said additional safety measures would be taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

According to the government’s spokesman, authorities will boost targeted checks at the country’s entry points, especially at the Greek-Bulgarian border Promachonas.

From July 1 to 11, 67,797 Covid-19 tests were performed at Greece’s entry points, of which 218 were positive (0.35 percent). However, the majority of positive Covid-19 cases were from travelers tested at Promachonas.

Petsas reminded that from the early hours of Wednesday, checks at Promachonas will be thorough and travelers will be allowed to enter Greece only if they have a negative molecular test result (PCR) for Covid-19.

“In the event of a forged test result, penalties will be imposed,” the government’s spokesman underlined.

He added that checks will also be strengthened at the entry points from Albania. Already, over this past weekend, 1,011 targeted tests were performed at Kakavia, followed by similar tests at Krystallopigi.

About the Author
This is the team byline for GTP. The copyrights for these articles are owned by GTP. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner.
  1. Vicki Hidalgo Reply

    Research local labs. Many are sitting up systems to facilitate a faster turnaround for these tests specifically for travel. They may charge you for your test unlike the ones that take a week and are free but will be well worth it to protect your vacation! I have read that this procedure will likely become standard for all travel going forward.

  2. Rachel Reply

    Do we have an update on this story? it is now the end of July. is the Greek government still considering admitting Americans with negative tests soon?

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hello Rachel.
      There has been no official announcement yet by the Greek government regarding the issue.
      We will run an update once we have more data.
      Kind regards.

    • Vicki Hidalgo Reply

      Any updates now

  3. Lucy Joy Reply

    The Greek government should allow entrance to Americans from the states with no COVID NEW cases or extremely low….like in NY., NJ, Connecticut, Pennsylvania. We played by the rules! We stayed home, we wore masks, we social distanced! We suffered staying home since March They should ask for a Driver’s license where it will show from what state they are coming from. New York and the entire North contained COVID, unlike South. Why we have to suffer because of irresponsible South and Midwest?! We deserve to have a vacation for the sake of the psychological state of your mind and yes! we bring dollars and tips!

    • Jvv Reply

      Thanks for your input Karen

  4. Madeline Scharff Reply

    you cannot enter greece if you have greek heritage. you must be a citizen

  5. Viviana Reply

    Thanks Greece, there are a lot of healthy people that take care and wear masks that want to visit the country, it would be unfair for them can not to travel. I agree with travel with negative test. I m from Chile and expect to travel by november to an world event in Sparta, where healthy people expect to go from all the world.
    We must to learn to live with this virus being carefully and respecting the laws, is something so simple the auto care

  6. Micah Springer Reply

    Despite the horrendous response on the part of the American government to Covid-19, there are millions of Americans, like myself who have followed all safety protocols and remained isolated even as our state opened. We have tickets to Greece at the end of August and feel Greece is acting intelligently by both securing their tourism-dependent economy as well as everyone’s health and well-being. Kudos!

    • CONSTANTINE Reply

      The response by New York State, after being hit hard, has not been horrendous at all. Our cases have gone way down and are inline with most EU countries at this point. Florida is 1000 miles from New York. It’s like saying because there is an outbreak in Scotland, Greece cannot travel.

      If Greece was astute, they’d charge 100 eur for covid tests upon entry to well heeled Americans. Many would happily pay for this.

      There are political elements of Merkel’s ban. Several sources had said a few southern EU states were pushing for the US to be let in July 1.

      I do not support the administration’s handling of this Stateside. And as a conservative with a brain I knew Trump was going to be a disaster; I voted for Hilary even though I was not a big fan.

      This notion expressed by a sad few, that all Americans are infected and irresponsible, is just Anti American bile. 330 million people here with 1.6 percent infection rate. While we have tested 50 million people and counting. Like you said, many of us have taken this seriously.

      This whole thing reminds me of 2010 when the world thought all of Greece was rioting hordes burning down their cities, because of newsreels from Syntagma.

      Greece would do well to look friendly to Americans at this point. The poor Slavs only brought them Covid and the western Europeans are staying in their own countries this summer. The Americans who would come are not hicks in Florida who think masks are political.

      This ban is not helping anyone. https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-tourist-hot-spots-suffer-as-u-s-big-spenders-are-told-to-stay-away-11594132862

  7. Mia Kartelo Reply

    There should be no issue with allowing Americans in IF they have a negative covid test. Your economy is severely suffering because Americans are your BIGGEST income source bringing you $140 billion on tourism. So please allow Americans who have a negative test to come.

  8. Nathalie Reply

    Glad to see Greece considering US tourists.
    However, no lab is giving test results within 72 hours from taking the test. So, that timeline should be extended to 7 days.

  9. Nina Reply

    To get results from Covid it can take up to a week.. so with the 72 hours this timeframe is not really a realistic time frame. I plan on going to Greece on August 5th..and can take my test about five or six days to get my results the day before I fly out. I wonder if this test would be acceptable!

  10. Vicki Koutsogiannis Reply

    I posted a reply earlier to James diGriz’ comment, but it appears it may have been deleted, so I am reposting here. I think this decision is a wise one, and absolutely makes sense, since all travelers will be required to provide a negative Covid test upon arrival (and can even be re-tested if needed). Saying that all Americans should be banned is senseless. Many Greek-Americans wish to travel to their favorite country and to refuse them is discriminatory. I personally have taken this pandemic very seriously, and am very disappointed in the progress of my native country- but that does not mean that all Americans are Covid-infected, nor that all Americans “deny” that the virus is real. That is quite an ignorant statement to make. I’ve been traveling to Greece since I was 3 months old, and hope that I can continue to travel there this year – especially since Greece has taken all measures to provide a safe travel experience. I’m proud of Greece, and I hope to be accepted there in August. If some people choose not to go, so be it. Regards.

  11. James diGriz Reply

    As a Canadian whose non-essential travel ban with the US is about to be extended to the end of August, this news is making me really consider cancelling my plans to visit Greece next month. We were very happy to be included in the short list of welcome countries who have managed the virus well and delighted that our long-planned trip could continue. If Greece lets people in from the largest uncontrolled epicenter in the world where a large part of the population continues to be in denial, I’m not willing to put my family at that kind of risk. Neither should Greeks.

    • John McCallum Reply

      That’s nuts. Only a very small number of Americans will travel to Greece. They will get a test before they depart. Infinitesimal risk. Plus Greece is already allowing dual citizens in, and Americans with Greek heritage – so your point is moot.

    • Sara Reply

      Then stay in boring Canada.

    • Vicki Koutsogiannis Reply

      I’m very proud of your country’s achievements, however, very unfair of you to say that all Greek-Americans (or other travelers from US) should be banned outright, even if they provide a negative test upon arrival. Travelers should know to follow all precautions- masks and sanitation, social distancing, etc. Prohibiting all Americans makes no sense. I have been traveling to Greece since I was 3 months old, am taking the pandemic VERY seriously, am very disappointed in my native country and the decisions which SOME Americans have made; but for Greece to ban me (even if I prove I am not positive for Covid) is discriminatory. I think the decision is a smart one. Keep in mind many travelers still won’t want to go, as we are still in a pandemic, and so I expect tourism to be slow this year, anyway. Hoping I can visit my family over there and the place that I love and always will visit year after year. Again, with a negative Covid test; it absolutely makes sense. Regards.

    • stwawk Reply

      I don’t think Greece will be too upset. In terms of economics, you withholding a few Canadian dollars pales in comparison to the influx of dollars spent by potential US tourists. That notwithstanding, you clearly do not know the US as well as you seem to think you do. If you did, you’d realize that an overwhelming majority of US citizens who would consider traveling to Greece at this time do not in any way fit into the generalizations you’re making. Do you really think some nationalist redneck from Texas has any desire to travel to Europe anytime soon?

    • Micah Springer Reply

      Feel free to cancel; many healthy Americans will make up for the opportunity cost to Greece by your family remaining home.

  12. John McCallum Reply

    I think this is a very positive development. Greece is leading the way for the world to resume traveling smartly and safely. Tests before leaving, tests on arrival and smart measures are great steps. The virus will be with us for a very long time… we can’t wait for it to go away everywhere. Flareups will happen. As an outsider, I think its worth mentioning that if countries don’t work with Americans they will lose next season as well. People won’t book travel to countries that don’t want them. We all need smart, slow steps that give people hope that there is path back to normalcy

  13. David O'Gorman Reply

    The USA has the highest incidence of Covid-19 in the world, and everyone knows this. Opening the country to Americans in the current situation using only the unreliable precaution mentioned is sure to deter visitors from other countries. The measure also puts very large numbers of Greek lives in danger, so please, BE CAREFUL.

    • Madeline Scharff Reply

      what do you recommend. everyone locked up until the “pandemic” is totally obliterated and no other viruses exist in the entire world forever.

    • Lucy Joy Reply

      The Greek government should allow entrance to Americans from the states with no COVID NEW cases or extremely low….like in NY., NJ, Connecticut, Pennsylvania. We played by the rules: we stayed home, we wore masks, we social distanced! We suffered staying home since March They should ask for a Driver’s license where it will show from what state they are coming from. New York and the entire North contained COVID, unlike South. Why we have to suffer because of irresponsible South and Midwest?! We deserve to have a vacation for the sake of the psychological state of your mind and yes! we bring dollars and tips!

  14. Lina Reply

    Truly delighted to read that Americans are now welcome again in your country. Greece is in our bucket list to visit once this pandemic gets “resolved – lock down” is lifted.

    • Michael Reply

      Me, not so much! Nothing personal, but Greece is precisely doing so well up to date because of fast, efficient and strictly enforced Corona measures and because travelers from the US, UK and Sweden (also Russia, Iran, etc) are still banned! As a country where up to 25% of GNP depend on tourism, we paid and will continue to pay a very high price, myself included.
      Sure, we want tourists, but not from countries where the governments are still in denial of the virus (!) and with an increased risk that tourists with a neg test result are still infected or got infected during the trip – what if our islands go into lock-down again??
      How about getting “this pandemic resolved” in your country first??

      • Lainy Reply

        Then Greece shouldn’t have opened up its borders initially to other countries (eg Serbia) that the virus is still “blooming”…but Serbs make up for a big part of the tourism in Northern Greece. I’m not in denial of the virus. Yes, it does exist. Yes, it is dangerous cuz it spreads out so easily. But I also know that a lot of decisions made from every single government in the world concerning the virus, hide political and economical reasons behind them. Logic before panic.

      • Vicki Koutsogiannis Reply

        If tourists “got infected during the trip” – wouldn’t that apply to all tourists, regardless of nationality? And the positive cases that have already been detected (218 so far) seeking entry into the country – those were not Americans, evidently.

  15. Garamont Reply

    I hope these measures (PCR tests) will be strictly enforced, especially regarding US citizens (but not only). I’m planning to come to Greece beginning of october, I will get a test before, and I hope there will be no exception for incoming tourists. Otherwise trust will not be there.

Add your comment

*