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Covid-19: No Change Yet to Greece’s Travel Rules

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

Photo: Shutterstock

The rules that must be followed by travelers arriving in Greece on international have been extended once again.

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) announced the extension of Greece’s Covid-19 aviation directives (NOTAMs) until May 1 (the rules will be evaluated after that date).

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

The result of the scan of a passenger's EU Digital COVID Certificate the is displayed on a screen at a checkpoint at Athens International Airport. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

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, Colombia, 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

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

Photo source: U.S. Department of State: Consular Affairs

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: European Commission / Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis

Photo source: European Commission / 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

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. David Reply

    The rest of the world is OPEN…. EU is CLOSED…. Go vax yourself!!!!

  2. adriaan Henrik Lambert Westerouen van Meeteren Reply

    Is Location form not necessary anymore?

  3. Mike Reply

    My family will not be travelling to Greece this summer if restrictions are not lifted.

    • David Reply

      Well said. I cancelled my holiday to Greece. Booked Turkey next door. No stupid Covid Rules there. Greece obviously don’t want my money.

  4. B Reply

    Funny, traveled from the Netherlands to Greece last Sunday. No checks what so ever, online check in with Transavia and at Athens airport there was nobody. No testing, no checking of any document what so ever.
    Reality is different then what that say.

  5. Ricardo Reply

    No problem accept other countries rules or as some say don’t go we felt safer in Crete than in the UK twice last year

    • Max Reply

      ‘Feelings’ do not justify these dictatorial rules to infringe on peoples civil liberties. If you’re that scared of a cold then stay at home.

  6. Ricardo Reply

    People making problems where there are none no one pays for the random test and the dear tests were from the UK Government to return. Like one said if you don’t like it don’t go another case of people telling other Countries what to do

  7. Thorsten Reply

    @Graham Stratford – this is what „Taking back control“ means: Countries decide about the rules under which they allow foreigners to enter. Compare it to the rules of the UK and find the similarities. Either live with it or spend your holidays in Wales. Life goes on also without you.

  8. Thorsten Reply

    @T Ferguson – maybe you should take the time to read before you comment and, if you do not understand or do not want to follow regulations, simply stay away. Nobody wants visitors in their country that do not want to follow basic rules. That is what the Brexit campaign wanted, wasn‘t it?

  9. T Ferguson Reply

    Have to say if restrictions are in place in June i will be cancelling our holiday, for two years we paid £700 each for tests, we had four holidays a lot of money. So decided i will not pay another penny for tests, had enough will stay at home.

  10. Graham Shatford Reply

    Too much uncertainty being created for the holiday maker wishing to make a booking. Either live with it or just close your country to tourism. Life has to go on!!

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