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Greece Updates Covid-19 Travel Rules, Bumps Rwanda and Thailand Off Safe List

Aegean Airlines Airbus A320 at Santorini International Airport in Greece on Aug. 19, 2020.

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Thursday updated and extended all aviation directives concerning arrivals to Greece from abroad.

Greece’s aviation directives are part of the Greek government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

With regard to updates, the HCAA informed that Rwanda and Thailand have been removed from the list of non-EU countries whose travelers are eligible to enter Greece.

Greece is now open to the following 30 non-EU countries and territories: Australia, Northern Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, New Zealand, South Korea, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Moldova, Brunei and Kosovo.
People traveling from non-EU countries not mentioned on the list can enter Greece only for essential reasons.

It is noted that Greece’s “safe list” includes all EU & Schengen Area countries.

Moreover, the HCAA informed that it has extended all other aviation directives (below) concerning arrivals to Greece from abroad until Thursday, July 22, at 6am.

Travel rules for international arrivals

Entry requirements

Greece will allow entrance to travelers that have filled out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) one day before travel. The PLF is mandatory and must be filled out by all travelers, regardless of their nationality.

Passengers from abroad must also have one of the following:

1. a vaccination certificate, stating that 14 days have passed since full vaccination for Covid-19. Vaccination certificates must be issued by a public authority and in one of the following languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. The name on the vaccination certificate must match the name on the passport and also include, the type of vaccine administered, the number of doses and the dates they were administered.

2. a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or negative rapid antigen test performed within 48 hours before travel. Negative test results must be issued by an authorized laboratory and in one of the following languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. The name on the vaccination certificate must match the name on the passport. (The rule is in force for children over the age of 12.)

3. recovery certificate. Travelers can present a medical/recovery certificate issued thirty days after they first tested positive for Covid-19 (the certificate is valid for entry to Greece 180 days after its issue date). The certificate must be issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory in one of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. (The rule is in force for children over the age of 12.)

4. an EU Digital COVID Certificate in digital or print form which will contain information on whether passengers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or a negative rapid test performed within 48 hours before travel or have recovered from the virus.

Important for travelers from Russia

All travelers from Russia arriving in Greece must have a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or a negative rapid antigen test performed within 48 hours before travel. The measure is mandatory and applies to all travelers from Russia, whether they are vaccinated for Covid-19 or not.
All travelers from Russia must also undergo a rapid test at the airport upon arrival in Greece. The measure is mandatory.

Rapid testing on arrival

Every traveler who arrives in Greece, regardless of the certificate in their possession, may undergo a random health screening (depending on the data provided on the PLF forms). If a passenger is selected for a rapid test and is positive for the coronavirus then he/she must quarantine for a total of:

– 7 days if the passenger has been vaccinated against Covid-19
– 10 days if the passenger is unvaccinated

In both cases, passengers will have to take a PCR test on the last day of their quarantine. If the test is negative the mandatory quarantine ends.

Domestic flights

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

The HCAA also announced that the aviation directive (NOTAM) with rules that passengers must follow to travel from the mainland to the islands on domestic flights has been extended until Friday, July 16. The current rules to fly domestic in Greece can be found here.

General instructions

At the arrival and departure areas inside airports, as well as during all domestic and international flights, staff and passengers are required to wear a face mask at all times.

Passengers are also required to comply with the instructions of the permanent and temporary staff of airports or airlines responsible for supervising, crowd management and passenger assistance, in order to maintain the necessary distances and to ensure safe boarding/disembarkation to avoid overcrowding.

The Greek government has detailed information on a dedicated website, which includes frequently asked questions, on how Greece is welcoming visitors this year.

Travelers in need of information regarding specific details on the travel rules for passengers of international and domestic flights are recommended to contact their embassy, airline or the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.

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  1. Katie Walker Reply

    When is Greece going to update for citizens in Thailand to enter the country?

  2. Brian h Reply

    If you are a permanent citizen of the US then you can go to Greece. But if you have contact with a Thai visitors in the uS then they may test you. The random testing is a new restriction I’ve heard lately from Greece. I would isolate for 2 weeks before your trip by not going in crowds, etc. just in case.

  3. GV Reply

    With Thailand now off the “safe list,” can you still come to Greece from Thailand if you are a resident or citizen of the US?

    • MC Reply

      Did you ever find out? I would like to travel from Thailand to Greece in one month.

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