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Greece Updates Rules for Ferry Travel from the Mainland to the Islands

Greece, Piraeus, August 1 2020 - Passengers embarking on a ferry boat at the port of Piraeus, with Greek islands as destination.

Photo: Shutterstock

Negative self-test results for Covid-19, as of Monday, July 5, will no longer be accepted as a document for adults to board a ferry to travel to the Greek islands from the mainland, the Greek authorities announced on Thursday.

Speaking during a Covid-19 media briefing, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias announced updated rules for travel to the Greek islands from the mainland. All rules will be in force from Monday, July 5.

Traveling to an island

Adults in Greece (residents and foreign visitors) will be allowed to travel from the mainland to the Greek islands by ferry only if they have one of the following:

– a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate
– a negative PCR test performed less than three days (72 hours)
– a negative rapid antigen test taken 48 hours prior to travel.

According to the Shipping Ministry, travelers may alternatively present, in digital or printed form, an EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent digital certificate from a non-EU country, as proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or received a negative test result (48-hour rapid test or 72-hour PCR) or recovered from the coronavirus.

Young people, minors

– Young people aged 12 (with date of birth before June 30, 2009) to 17 may present any test, including self-tests (taken at least 24 hours before travel), to embark on a ferry.
– Minors up to 12 years old (with date of birth after July 1, 2009) can travel on a ferry without presenting a test.

Returning to the mainland

Passengers returning to the mainland (e.g. back to Athens) from an island are recommended to conduct a self-test (the recommendation is for all passengers over the age of 12).

Negative self-test results must be filled out on the self-test declaration form on the platform found here (in English and Greek).

Exempt from the above rules are:

– people traveling on ferry routes from the mainland to the islands of Evia, Lefkada and Salamina. More specifically, according to the Shipping Ministry, passengers traveling on the ferry routes Perama-Paloukia (Salamina), Perama Megaridos-Faneromeni (Salamina), Rio-Antirrio; on the ferry connections from the mainland to Evia; and on the ferry lines Poros-Galata (Trizinia), Pounta-Elafonisos (Lakonia), Tripiti-Ammouliani (Halkidiki) should present a negative self-test (taken 24 hours prior to travel) before boarding.
– people who travel between different island regional units for work purposes on a daily basis and already take a negative Covid-19 self-test every week (the test result must be presented when boarding).
people who travel between islands that are in very close distance to one another or on ferries that connect the mainland with nearby islands. Those traveling daily for work purposes will present a weekly negative Covid-19 self-test result. Individual travelers, traveling for what ever reason, must present a negative self-test (taken 24 hours prior to travel) before boarding a ferry.

Pre–boarding Health Form

It is reminded that all ferry passengers must fill out a health declaration questionnaire before traveling from the mainland to the Greek islands.

The online pre–boarding questionnaire can be found here in both Greek and English and can be submitted online.

It is noted that the questionnaire on the ministry’s site that can be downloaded and printed is still accepted by port authorities. (Is is available in Greek here and in English here.)

Passengers returning to the mainland (e.g. back to Athens) from an island will again have to fill out the pre–boarding questionnaire. Passengers traveling between islands (e.g. Mykonos to Santorini) are not required to fill out the questionnaire.

The pre-boarding health declaration questionnaire is also available via ferry operators.

Air travel: Flying domestic to the islands

The aforementioned rules for travel from the Greek mainland to the islands will also be in force for people traveling on domestic flights from Monday, July 5. The announcement of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) can be found here.

Greece’s rules for travel from the mainland to the islands are part of the Greek government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

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  1. Anna Reply

    If i want to travel from Rhodos to Simi by a ferry for two days do i need a self -test?
    And how i need to pass this test?
    Do i need to buy a test in a pharmacy and pass it by myself and then show the result of the test in the port?

  2. Sophie Reply

    Hi there, thank you for this very helpful article. I am travelling to Athens and then onto Naxos. Please could you advise which tests are required to fly this journey? And is it quite easy to get the correct, official tests required in Athens before travel?

    Also, what is the protocol around day trips to nearby islands? For example visiting Aegina from Athens for the day?

    Thank you!

  3. Nikos Roukas Reply

    Dear GPT, you mention Pounta Elafonisos is an exception and that self test is sufficient. I just called the Pounta Port and told me I need a rapid test. Can you please clarify with and/or the Pounta port officials? Thanks, Nikos

  4. Rach Reply

    Hi- travelling from Crete to Santorini via Ferry. We are vaccinated in the UAE. A bit confused if we need a PCR test also?

  5. Theresia Reply

    I fly 2 heraklion en then take a boat 2 karpathos i am vaccinated.what do i nead morr

  6. Angelina Reply

    Dear all, good day!

    And what are the rules to fly from island to mainland ?

    • GTP editing team Reply

      It is mentioned in the article that travelers returning with a ferry back to the mainland (e.g. back to Athens) from an island are recommended to conduct a self-test. This is the latest update we have on the issue. We recommend that you contact a ferry company for details.

  7. Gabriela Reply

    Does it means that travelling from island to island is ok without covid test result? Next week heading to Santorini-Naxos (with test result) but not aware can I find rapid test places from my return (Naxos-Santorini).

  8. Pedro Real Baptista Reply

    Hi, I’m currently on Mykonos and I’ll travel to Santorini on July 5th via ferry so I’m a bit confused at the moment: I have to take any kind of test to travel between the islands? Best regards

    • Serban Vadim Reply

      Hi, i am in the same situation, did you manage to find some more information?

  9. Cathy Reply

    Thank you for the important information!

  10. Sharona Hurmuses Reply

    Thank you for keeping us up to date. I rely on you guys as an English speaker to keep up with the travel news in Greece especially being an owner of a Greek Villa in Mykonos. Thank you again.

  11. john Reply

    So does that mean that if I take the plane from Athens to Crete or from Crete to Athens that I have to have a PCR test or a rapid antigen test now?

    i dont get this: my kids are 12 years old which category do they fit in???

    Young people aged 12 to 17 may present any test, including self-tests, to embark on a ferry.
    – Minors up to 12 years old travel can travel on a ferry without presenting a test.

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hello John.
      Please check the article again. It has been updated with details provided by the Shipping Ministry.

  12. Valentina Reply

    Travel by ferry from islands (Santorini Amorgos for example) are always free? Without test?

  13. John Reply

    How about travelers, visitors, and dual citizens from countries such as the U.S., where vaccination certificates do not have a QR code and most states do not have a “digital passport”? Will they be able to travel on domestic flights and ferries using the U.S. CDC vaccination certificate?

    • John Reply

      Have asked around, amazing how there invariably is silence when this question is asked. Greece unfortunately operates as a feudal society with a “code of silence.”

  14. Martin+Lavelle Reply

    Yet another hurdle!I seem to have spent more time filling in forms and making arrangements to have tests than I have preparing for my holiday. Now I am constantly worrying in case I haven’t covered all the bases!

    • Ian Houston Reply

      Don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you GTP

  15. Avgoustinos Souridis Reply

    Thank you for keeping us updated GTP, much appreciated 🙂

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