Starting 6am on Friday, unvaccinated travelers entering Greece from 13 countries will be required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival at the airport, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) announced on Thursday.
The new aviation directive (NOTAM) makes Covid-19 rapid testing mandatory for unvaccinated travelers – regardless of nationality – coming from Egypt, Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Georgia, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Libya, Morocco, Russia and Turkey.
Travelers that present positive rapid test results will be obliged to take a PCR test.
The new measure as well as all the existing NOTAMs concerning arrivals from abroad will be into effect until August 27.
Travel rules for international arrivals
Who is allowed entry to Greece
Greece is open for travelers from all EU & Schengen Area countries and has a ban on travellers from non-EU countries.
However, people traveling for essential reasons and travelers from the following 35 non-EU countries and territories* are allowed to enter Greece – provided they have the required documentation – without the requirement for subsequent self-isolation: 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, Kosovo, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Turkey.
* Regulations concerning countries on the admission list are subject to change by the Greek authorities, when renewed assessments are made based on epidemiological data from country of origin.
Greece will allow entrance to travelers that have filled out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) any time before the departure of their flight. The PLF is mandatory and must be filled out by all travelers, regardless of their nationality. The PLF can be found here.
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. (The rule is in force for children over the age of 12 born after July 1, 2009.)
2. a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or a 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 born after July 1, 2009.)
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 born after July 1, 2009.)
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. (The rule is in force for children over the age of 12 born after July 1, 2009.)
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 mandatory rapid test for Covid-19 at the airport upon arrival in Greece.
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) based on the ‘EVA’ system. If a passenger is selected for a rapid test and is positive for the coronavirus then he/she must quarantine (authorities will give instructions) 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.
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 compulsory travel documents passengers must have with them are checked by airline staff. According to the HCAA, airline staff is obliged to ascertain that travelers have all the necessary documentation before they board flight to Greece. In the case of violation, the airline will have to to repatriate the passenger at its own expense.
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 specific details on the travel rules for passengers of international flights are recommended to contact their embassy, airline or the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.