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Greece will Welcome Travelers with Negative Covid-19 Test or Vaccination Certificate

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Tuesday clarified that Greece this year will be open to all visitors holding either a negative molecular Covid-19 test or a vaccination certificate when entering the country.

Wanting to put an end to rumors that Covid-19 vaccination will be the exclusive prerequisite for travel to Greece, the minister told Thema 104.6FM that no hotel in the country will refuse hospitality to a visitor that has not been vaccinated.

“The prerequisite for someone to travel to our country (and stay) will be the negative molecular test or the certificate of vaccination,” Theoharis said, adding that if someone does not want to show their vaccination certificate when entering Greece, they can present a negative coronavirus test.

“In any case, personal data will be protected,” the minister said.

The idea behind travelers holding vaccination certificates is for them to be able to move freely within European countries, without restrictions such as being obliged to undergo Covid-19 testing. On the other hand, unvaccinated citizens will be obliged to present a negative PCR test or antigen test at border points (and possibly undergo quarantine depending on a country’s rules).

Photo source: Hellenic National Public Health Organization (EODY)

Greece has already discussed the introduction of a vaccination certificate with Israel, Cyprus and Serbia to enable restriction-free admission to travelers.

It is reminded that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had proposed to the European Commission the establishment of an EU-wide vaccination certificate to facilitate travel in Europe.

For now, member states have agreed on a set of guidelines that will allow for the establishment of an EU-wide accepted vaccination certificate to be used for “medical purposes”. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said that the Greek PM’s proposal will be discussed again.

It is noted that Greece has not set a date yet as of when vaccination certificates will be accepted for entry. Greece’s current rules for international arrivals can be found here.

Moreover, during the interview, Minister Theoharis expressed his optimism for tourism and said he expects 2021 to be a better year than 2020 was for Greece and estimated that travel may pick up after the Easter holiday.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Michaela Reply

    I am living in Athens due to COVID i cannot travel anywhere. I am 84 years of age and i would like to be vaccinated, how can get an appointment?

  2. Jor Reply

    But is only a negative test enough for people out Holland? They dont has needed a vaccination right?

  3. Dalene Van Zyl Reply

    What about visitors from South Africa

  4. Robert Fotoples(Fotopoulos) Reply

    How about U.S. travellers? I m getting my 2nd dose of the vaccine in a few weeks, and my wife and I already have reservations to fly into Athens at the end of September. Is this EU only, or does this news mean EVERYBODY?

    • LesleyW Reply

      Presumably it should mean everybody. Not much point otherwise protecting EU citizens if US & UK citizens bring the virus in – the virus doesn’t discriminate between EU & non-EU citizens.

      • Jenifer Reply

        I may be wrong but think Robert was inquiring about whether or not US citizens will ALSO be able to enter Greece with a test or proof of vaccination. At this point, U.S. citizens are not able to enter Greece under the same circumstances as some other countries.

        Good question, Robert. I am also hopeful we will be able to travel to Greece later this year. Fingers crossed!

  5. George S Reply

    The UK will probably by May/Jun have vaccinated 30 million people minimum, around half its population. It is still only February & the UK government hasn’t ruled out working with phone app developers to provide some some kind of vaccine passport.
    Everyone in the UK is issued with a card proof of vaccination, showing date, type of vaccine & even batch number! Why would this not suffice as proof? If not why wouldn’t a letter of proof from your GP suffice as proof?

    • LesleyW Reply

      They can be falsified or forged. And doctors probably have more important things to do than write letters. In Australia we are automatically getting a vaccination certificate when we have had the two jabs.

  6. Paul Reply

    Assuming UK. travellers will not be able to get the EU Certificate of Vaccination just get something from your GP. That’s the only advice coming out of U.K. Gov at the moment. Or get negative test certification (privately) which adds a lot of cost to your holiday costs

  7. Leonie Reply

    This will be a big problem for us as the U.K. doesn’t issue either Covid test or vaccination certificates. So how do we provide proof of either. I hope there is some solution to this as I have booked flights and would like some guidance before cancelling them.

    • roberta carrick Reply

      ive got a card when i got my vaccine have to take it back when i get my other on that your proof got your na
      me on date of vaccine and what vaccine you were given

    • Nikolaj Reply

      UK arrivals
      ALL arrivals from the UK must take a PCR test after their seventh day of quarantine in the Greece. If the test is positive the quarantine will be in force for 14 days. If the test is negative the quarantine ends.

    • Rosa Reply

      You can search for your local clinic that offers the PCR test which will give you proof of a negative test. These tests have been around since last last year and usually cost around £120.00

    • S same Reply

      PCR TEST are available privately for around £99.

    • Jules Reply

      You can get a certificate if you pay for a private PCR test

  8. Kay Reply

    The Vaccinated are still able to catch the virus so therefore should still have to test before travel

    • Tyler Reply

      If the vaccinated are still catching the virus then why are they getting vaccinated for? Its pointless.

      • Graham Reply

        Because the vaccine prevents the virus from causing serious illness.

  9. geraldine hoyle Reply

    The british government should issue us with a certifiacate of covid vaccination or a card to carry with our passports.

  10. Ed Jacobi Reply

    In the US we have a card that is signed on the spot when we get the vaccines. Will this be admissible? Currently there are no certificates and to be honest, it would be very easy to duplicate this card for fraudulent use.

    • merv lamb Reply

      They need to make it forge proof if they do.

      • Clare Riley Reply

        I thought they were going to make it an app on your phone.

  11. Kiki Lentes Reply

    Hi, what about quarantine days? No one will travel if there is still a 7 day quarantine… are there news about that?

  12. Robert Ferguson Reply

    Great news

  13. Trish Billimore Reply

    Will the Card we get when we have the Vaccination count. It says on it which vaccine we have had and the dates given. Because at the moment the Uk Government says they are not going to issue Vaccination Certificates, of course they could change their minds!

  14. Elizabeth Hall Reply

    Visitors from the US with proof of vaccines??!?

  15. Lorraine Fallis Reply

    People from GB I not being issued a certificate so how will it work for us ? Desperate to visit one of the Greek islands hopefully soon.

  16. Pamela Leavesley Reply

    Hopefully this will happen

  17. Lennart Alm Reply

    Don’t they say from when ? Or is it from today ?

  18. Jean Ellwood Reply

    what about visitors from the UK and therefore will not be able to use the EU Vaccination Certificate?

    • Anne Cathrine Mastoris Reply

      It says clearly they can produce a negative test instead.

      • Alison Donnelly Reply

        I work in nhs and my understanding is once both vaccinations have been administered notification is sent to your GP surgery who will issue a certificate of vaccination if requested. This will likely be a chargeable service

        • Jacky Reply

          If allowed visiting Greece, where can I have my PCR test done in Greece,before allowed to return to my home country?

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