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HCAA Extends Covid-19 Rules for Travel to Greece

Photo source: AIA

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Sunday issued an update to its Covid-19 aviation directives (NOTAMs) that include the rules travelers arriving in Greece on international flights must follow.

What’s new

According to the updated directives, Covid-19 certificates issued by Colombia and Malaysia are now equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel. This means that there will be no additional restrictions to travelers (that are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19) entering Greece from the two countries.

All other rules for entering Greece have been extended and will be in place until April 18 (the rules are evaluated every week).

The Covid-19 aviation directives issued by the HCAA, are part of the Greek government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

Following are Greece’s entry rules in detail.

Travel rules for international arrivals

Travel and COVID-19 coronavirus in Greece, Europe. COVID mark in tourist passport on map with Athens. Tourism hit by corona virus. Medical test at border control due to coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: Shutterstock

EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) holders

There are no additional restrictions (such as the “Covid-19 testing before travel” requirement for the vaccinated) for European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) holders coming from:

– the EU and Schengen zone countries
– the following 37 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, Malaysia (new), Colombia (new), Norway, New Zealand, Ukraine, Uruguay, Panama, Cape Verde, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Tunisia, Benin, Jordan, 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

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

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.

Travelers from US, Canada & Australia

Vaccinated travelers entering Greece from the United States of America, Canada and Australia are exempt from additional restrictions upon arrival 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.

Random rapid testing on arrival

Photo source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

All travelers entering Greece, regardless if they are a holder of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, may be subject to random COVID-19 rapid testing at the airport.

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

Photo source: European Commission / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

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 instructions of airport and airline staff 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. Nina Nugg Reply

    If it wasn’t for my family in Greece, i would never step my foot there. Having to wear useless masks and scanning myself everywhere like i am a product at the market is not how i want to live. Thank God for the freedom we have in the Netherlands.

  2. Michelle Reply

    Sensible rules easy to follow. I’ll be there soon can’t wait

  3. A M Hanson Reply

    And why is Greece discriminating against other countries, despite the fact that they have administered WHO recognised vaccines? This is unbelievable. I would like to know the criteria for joining the EU Covid Pass group…is it money?

  4. George J Delegas Reply

    Aruba sound good to me.

  5. Johnny Zoumboulis Reply

    Just the fact that that in order to have your freedom you have to have your body penetrated by some type of foreign substance is scary and horrifying.

  6. Graham Shatford Reply

    This is not a holiday!!! I will wait until you exercise freedom of life as we experience in England. I cannot get my mind around paying for the privilege of restriction.

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