ATTENTION: The article has been updated with clarifications for ferry travel. See NEW UPDATE below.
Greek Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos on Wednesday announced that restrictions on domestic travel in Greece will be lifted on Friday, May 14, but that rules will apply for travel to the islands.
Non-essential intra-regional movement (travel between regions) has been banned in Greece since the country’s second lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Rules to travel to the islands by ferry & plane
People in Greece (residents and foreign visitors) will be allowed to travel from the mainland to the Greek islands by ferry or plane only if they have one of the following:
– a vaccination certificate (stating that 14 days have passed since full vaccination for Covid-19)
– a negative PCR test performed less than three days (72 hours)
– a negative rapid antigen test taken 24 hours prior to travel
– a negative self-test taken 24 hours prior to travel
– a certificate stating that one has recovered from the coronavirus. The certificate must be issued two months after an individual’s recovery (valid for nine months).
The staff of ferry and airline companies will be responsible to check that passengers are carrying the required documentation before boarding.
The rule will be in force for all travelers, Greeks and foreigners, including children over 5 years old.
Passengers who prefer to travel with a negative self-test result must fill out the self-test declaration form on the self-testing.gov.gr platform found here (in English and Greek).
NEW UPDATE: Clarifications for ferry travel
For ferry travel, it has been clarified that passengers must have a vaccination certificate or a negative test or a recovery certificate only when traveling from the mainland (e.g. Athens) to the islands. Passengers are also obliged to fill out a pre-boarding health declaration questionnaire prior to boarding a ferry.
Moreover, passengers returning to the mainland (e.g. back to Athens) only have to fill out a pre–boarding questionnaire and do not need to present a negative test or vaccination certificate.
Passengers traveling between islands (e.g. Mykonos to Santorini) are not required to do any of the above.
The pre-boarding health declaration questionnaire is available via ferry operators.
It is noted that no rules apply for travel from the mainland to the islands of Evia, Lefkada and Salamina.
PLF for travelers from abroad is mandatory
Skertsos also said that the submission of the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) by all passengers of international flights to Greece remains mandatory.
The PLF, which is submitted before travel, is expected to include a space for passengers to enter their Covid-19 certificate information regarding vaccination status or negative PCR test result. (A further announcement regarding the additional data on the PLF is expected to be made by the authorities.)
Domestic travel by car
For people in Greece traveling between regions on the mainland by car, Skertsos said there is a strong recommendation for them to take a Covid-19 self-test before and after their trips. However, this remains optional and as the deputy minister said, car passengers will not checked while on the road.
Skertsos did not mention rules involving travel by train.
The lifting of the ban on domestic travel coincides with Greece’s official opening for tourism with no quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers or those with a negative PCR test.
Further announcements on how Greece will open its gates to international travelers are expected to be made by Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Thursday.