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Entering Greece: New Covid-19 Rules for International Travelers

Photo source: HCAA

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Sunday released an updated aviation directive (NOTAM) with new rules concerning international arrivals from abroad.

According to the updated directive, inbound travelers to Greece from EU/Schengen member states and from 33 non-EU countries (mentioned below) that hold a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate will not be subject to additional restrictions (such as testing before travel for the fully vaccinated).

[Since February 1, following a European Commission announcement, the certificates for those vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses and without a booster shot should be valid for a period of 270 (9 months) for travel.]

All other inbound travelers to Greece (including children over 5 years old) that do not have an EU Digital COVID Certificate, regardless of nationality, Covid vaccination status or proof of recovery, must present a negative PCR test result (performed within 72 hours before travel) or a rapid antigen test result (performed within 24 hours before travel).

The new rules will run until February 21.

Following are Greece’s entry rules in detail.

Travel rules for international arrivals

Photo source: European Commission / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

Passenger Locator Form (PLF)

All travelers to Greece, regardless of their nationality, must submit the mandatory Passenger Locator Form (PLF) any time before the departure of their flight.

EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) holders

The new NOTAM foresees entry into Greece without additional restrictions (such as the prior Covid-19 testing before travel requirement for vaccinated) for European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) holders coming from:

– the EU and Schengen zone countries
– the following 33 non-EU countries and territories that have joined the EUDCC system: San Marino, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, the Vatican, Northern Macedonia, Georgia, Switzerland, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lebanon, Morocco, Montenegro, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Ukraine, Uruguay, Panama, Cape Verde, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Tunisia, Faroe Islands and Chinese Taipei.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate must include information on one of the following:

1) a vaccination certificate valid for nine months since full vaccination for Covid-19, and without validity limit for travelers who have received the booster dose

2) a recovery certificate valid for 180 days after its issue date

3) a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or a negative rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours before travel.

The rule is also in force for children aged 5 and over.

Non-EUDCC holders: Mandatory testing before entering the country

All other inbound travelers to Greece that do not have an EUDCC (including children over 5 years old) and regardless of their Covid vaccination status must present a negative PCR test result (performed within 72 hours before travel) or a rapid antigen test result (performed within 24 hours before travel) upon arrival.

UPDATE: Travelers from US, Canada & Australia

All travelers from the United States of America, Canada and Australia may enter Greece provided they have one of the following:

1) a vaccination certificate valid for nine months since full vaccination for Covid-19, and without validity limit for travelers who have received the booster dose

2) a recovery certificate valid for 180 days after its issue date

3) a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before travel or a negative rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours before travel.

For further information, press here.

Random rapid testing on arrival

Negative test result by using rapid test device for COVID-19. Photo: Shutterstock 1656883729

Photo: Shutterstock

Every traveler who arrives in Greece, regardless if they are a holder of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, may be subject to random COVID-19 rapid test at the airport (depending on the data provided on the PLF forms and 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 for a total of five days at home or in a temporary facility as indicated by Greek authorities. The isolation period begins the next day, after diagnosed positive for Covid-19.

The mandatory quarantine can end after five days as long as passengers have no symptoms or their symptoms have subsided (no fever for the last 24 hours without the use of antipyretics). Self-isolation is extended in case fever persists and until it subsides. These passengers are required to wear only a high filtering respirator mask (FFP2 or N95) or a double mask (surgical and fabric) for at least another five days after the end of the self-isolation period.

Wearing a mask is mandatory

Athens, Greece - July 2020: People wearing masks for COVID-19 in eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens, Greece.

Photo: Shutterstock

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 with the entry rules to Greece. The website includes frequently asked questions.

Travelers are advised to contact their travel agent or airline to confirm the requirements before their trip. Those in need of specific details on the travel rules for passengers of international flights are advised to contact their embassy or the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.

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  1. RJ Reply

    greece is acting under the orders of the WEF you have lost your country…what happened to oxi? these measures are in direct contradiction to any and all scientific advice or truth. get online and check out other countries…we are all alive…healthy and alive and not masked or jabbed.

  2. C. Mathews Reply

    Why aren’t Australians on EUDCC list. What happens on internal flights and ferries for Australians?

  3. Donna Haigh Reply

    What are the time frame for Covid recovery certificate post date of infection for 1) entry into the country 2) entry into restaurant and bars.
    Iv seen various timelines from 180 days, 3 months and 4 months ?
    My son had covid in October so hes within 180 days but not the other 2

  4. Marika Smit Reply

    Can fully vaccinated plus booster shot South Africans tourists visit Greece in May/June 2022? Will we be issued visas? Thank you

    • Noula Pouroullis Reply

      I am currently visiting Greece from South Africa and this is what I found:
      1. if you have a 72 hour PCR test, it’s good enough to come into the country, provided you have the Passenger Locator Form.
      2. South African Vaccine certificate does not scan in Greece.I am fully vaccinated and have my Southa frican certificate but the QR code is not recognized in Greece. Subsequently, I found out that South Africa vaccine certificates can not be used globally as the technology is too expensive and South Africa has not bought into it. Every time you go to a coffee shop or restaurant you are asked for your vaccine certificate or a covid rapid or pcr test.
      3 You need to fill a Passenger locator form before departing South Africa. This is found on the Greek Government site.https://travel.gov.gr/#/
      You need to carry this form with you wherever you go. Print a few and keep them on you-or electronically
      4. I was asked for the PCR test and the passenger locator form at all the airports, and when entering Greece
      5. They do random screening at the airport as well as you enter.

      It becomes expensive if you need testing every time you go into an establishment, PCR or rapid is 7 to 10 euro–the testing is more expensive than going out to get a coffee, so not worth it. You can do the tests at a pharmacy but need your passports and Passenger Locator forms to get a valid GR certificate.
      I do not think there will be an issue with visas. You need to keep checking the greek government site for updates—https://travel.gov.gr

  5. Adams Dill Reply

    It was great to hear those information,l’am wondering why is that a person had a PCR test abroad +plus PLF before departure and submit all the requirement documents.Come to the country of destination has to be required for above document and forced to have a test again at Airport.
    Is that a new law !

  6. Stacey-anne Zahariadis Reply

    What are the rules for South African passport holders entering Greece for holidays in June 2022?

  7. David Kirk Reply

    I am Canadian with 3 shots of pfizer vaccine. Travelling to Greece in May. Do I still need the preflight PCR test?

    • D Mc Reply

      I too would be interested in this answer, as I also am hoping to go to Greece in May 2022.

  8. Carolyn Hadden Reply

    Can citizens of Trinidad and Tobago enter Greece as yet?

  9. Johnson Reply

    Greece will continue to have covidfascist measures even when covidfascism is over everywhere else.

  10. Tom Maher Reply

    So has Greece got rid of the wretched list of countries whose citizens and residents were allowed entry? For example can Colombians now visit Greece for tourist purposes?

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