Unlocking the World

Traveling to Greece during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 17th September 2021
Greece has ancient ruins like the Parthenon, plus some of Europe's loveliest islands.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you're fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on September 17.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Greece, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Greece is open to some tourists without the need for quarantine, but restrictions are tightening as the country tackles another Covid wave.

What's on offer

Ancient monuments, myriad islands, spectacular beaches and vast mountains. Greece attracts millions of visitors each year looking for a sunny seaside escape, or a history-focused trip exploring its long and storied past.
Its popular resorts are perfect for partying during the summer, but there's plenty of space to get away from the crowds, and outside of summer season you'll often find yourself the only tourist around.

Who can go

Travelers from the following countries may now travel to Greece without quarantine requirements: EU and Schengen Area countries, USA, UK, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldaova, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE and Ukraine.
Travelers from Montenegro and the Russian Federation are also allowed entry, with different regulations. See below.
Officials says targeted rapid checks will be carried out at entry points and quarantine hotels are ready to accommodate those who test positive during this process.
Following an EU recommendation to impose restrictions on US visitors due to Covid concerns, Greece's new tourism minister, Vassilis Kikilias, has been reported saying the country will continue to welcome Americans until the end of the season.

What are the restrictions?

Travelers from the main bloc of countries allowed entry may skip quarantine, provided they have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel, proof of infection within the past 2-9 months, or proof they've been fully vaccinated, and completed their cycle at least 14 days earlier. Acceptable vaccines are Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novovax, Johnson + Johnson, Sinovac, Sputnik, Cansino and Sinopharm. This is in deviation from official EU policy, which is to only admit those who have received EU-approved vaccines.
Arrivals from Montenegro must present both a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test.
Arrivals from the Russian Federation must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours. Vaccination status does not matter for these passengers.
Negative PCR tests must have been taken within 72 hours of departure, must be written in English and include the name and passport number of the person traveling. This does not apply to children under 10. For full details of the laboratories accepted, see here.
All travelers must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to departure. This includes details of where the individual has been and the address they plan to stay at in Greece. Each PLF includes a unique QR code which must be scanned upon arrival at the Greek border.
The QR code will tell you whether you need to have an additional test done at the airport. If you do, you must self-isolate until you have the results -- around 24 hours.
Greece's inter-island ferries are fully operational, but passengers over the age of 12 must complete a health declaration and show proof of a recent negative Covid test or full vaccination 14 days before travel.

What's the Covid situation?

Greece has weathered the Covid storm better than many countries in Europe, but surges have still resulted in nationwide lockdown measures. The country has seen 625,083 Covid cases and a total of 14,354 deaths as of September 17. Full vaccinations currently stand at close to 5,902,443 -- or 55.08% of the population.

What can visitors expect?

Cafes, bars and restaurants are now open across Greece but as of mid-September, customers will need proof of vaccination or certification of recovery from Covid to enter. The measures are expected to remain in place until the end of March 2022.
While unvaccinated people can still visit museums and archeological sites as well as cinemas and sports venues, they will need proof of a recent negative PCR test.

Useful links

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