Protocols for Arrivals and Departures from Greece
We welcome you to Greece and wish you enjoy a wonderful, unforgettable holiday experience. On behalf of the Greek Government and the Greek Ministry of Tourism, we would like you to know that we have made every effort humanly possible for you to be and feel safe in our country. Your health is our absolute and non-negotiable priority.
Greece is opening its borders gradually, in a safe and doable manner. The first stage, from the 19th of April, has some limitations compared to the generalized opening. In the following paragraphs, we describe what applies as of the 19th of April. Information relating to the generalized opening, which will be affected as of the 14th of May, will be announced in due time.
For the protection of your own health, your family’s, as well as that of all those involved in offering you a safe hospitality, the following general principles regarding the health protocols apply in Greece as of the 19th of April:
- Every traveler coming to Greece from abroad should have a negative PCR test from a diagnostic laboratory. The test has to be conducted no later than 72 hours before arrival. This test is mandatory for all tourists (including children over the age of 5), regardless of the epidemiological situation prevalent in the country of departure.
- If the traveler has completed his/her vaccination (i.e. 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination, depending on the doses required) and is in a position to confirm it by presenting the relevant vaccination certificate, then proof of a negative test is not required.
- Vaccination certificates with vaccines Sputnik, Sinovac, etc., which have not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also exempt visitors from the obligation of a negative PCR test. For the list of acceptable vaccines, see here: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm
- Every traveler who arrives in Greece, regardless of the certificate he carries, may undergo a random health check. If selected, the check is mandatory. Otherwise we reserve the right to refuse entry in the country. The selection is made through a targeted sampling system, based on the EVA system used in the summer of 2020.
- Attention: We clarify that the entry of tourists in Greece is not subject to vaccination. The presentation of a vaccination certificate greatly facilitates the formalities on arrival. However, in no case is a vaccination or an antibodies certificate considered a «passport».
- The countries from which entry is allowed, under the aforementioned conditions, without the requirement for isolation are: EU +Schengen, USA, UK, Israel, Serbia, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore and Russia.
- Non EU citizens are strongly advised to choose direct flights to Greece. In other cases, travelers should abide by the stop-over country requirements.
- Passengers are allowed to enter the country through 9 airports (Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Chania, Mykonos, Santorini).
- Travelers are allowed to enter from the land borders of the country through the land entry gates of Promachonas and Nymphaio.
- In particular, permanent residents of Russia are allowed to enter the country up to a maximum of four thousand (4,000) persons per week and only by air. Moreover, travelers from Russia need to cumulatively have completed their vaccination (i.e. 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination, depending on the doses required) and have a negative PCR test.
OBLIGATIONS FOR EVERY VISITOR IN GREECE
- Every tourist must fill in the special PLF (Passenger Location Form) no later than 23:59 of the day before arriving in Greece. This is done here.
Before departure, the traveler must ensure that he/she has some kind of certification of his health condition. The alternatives for that are as follows:
- PCR test from a laboratory, maximum 72 hours before entry.
- Vaccination certificate issued by an appropriate authority.
All certificates must include the critical information in English and the full name must match with that of the passport or other travel document.
For travelers arriving in Greece, the following are provided:
- Sampling RAPID antigen tests at the entrance gates, the selection of individuals drawn from a targeted sampling system, based on the EVA system used in the summer of 2020.
- Mandatory isolation for tourists who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, following a sampling test. In this case, the travelers and their escorts are transported to quarantine hotels and undergo further PCR tests to confirm the initial diagnosis. Guests will stay in seclusion hotels for at least 10 days, and they will undergo new tests again. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.
Compliance with the health protocols during tourist transport and throughout your entire hospitality in Greece is the decisive factor that will allow for all of us to stay safe and return to our normality. We ask for your understanding and apologize in advance for any additional inconvenience. Thank you for the cooperation, thank you for choosing our country for your vacation and we look forward to welcoming you to Greece.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR THE OPENING OF TOURISM 2021
- How can one travel to Greece?
Greece is ready to welcome visitors from abroad again, applying advanced health protection protocols. In 2021, Greek Tourism is ready to operate with the maximum safety possible, for tourists, employees and every person involved in the provision of tourist services.
First of all, isolation (quarantine) for visitors from abroad is no longer required. However, entry into Greece will be allowed under the following conditions:
— By presenting a vaccination certificate issued by an appropriate body in the traveler’s country of origin.
— Instead of a vaccination certificate, the tourist can show a negative PCR test conducted up to 72 hours before traveling.
— At the same time, 24 hours before traveling, every tourist must have completed the special PLF document.
— Upon entering Greece, visitors will undergo targeted tests. In the event of a positive result, meaning that the traveler who was tested is ill with Covid-19, he/she will be temporarily accommodated in an isolation hotel. If a positive incident is detected following a sampling test at the land borders, then entry into the country may not be allowed.
- What applies to people working in the tourism sector?
Employees in the Greek tourism sector are vaccinated, according to government planning. Also, until the date of their vaccination, these employees are obliged to undergo a weekly test. It is suggested that the testing is even more frequent, in order to have timely isolation.
- What about «third» vaccines (from China, Russia, etc.)?
Greece recognizes every visitor who produces a vaccination certificate with an anti- Covid 19 formula from third countries, that is outside the EU and USA, as vaccinated. For the list of acceptable vaccines, see here: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm
- What applies to international flights?
In the first phase of the opening of Greek Tourism, flight restrictions from EU countries will be lifted, as well as from a limited number of other countries (USA, UK, UAE, Serbia and Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda and Singapore).
Furthermore, our country will initially welcome flights only at certain airports (Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kos, Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu). From mid-May onwards, in the framework of the general opening of the tourism industry, all international airports in the country will be allowed to accept flights from abroad.
- What will apply to land travel?
Two entry stations from Bulgaria (Promachonas and Nymfaia) will operate during the initial phase of the opening.
- What about ferry connections?
As of 19/04/21, the quarantine will be lifted for those who arrive by ferry. Initially, at the main entrances (Patra, Igoumenitsa) and subsequently at all the rest.
- How can the visitors move to or from their hotel?
As long as travel across counties is prohibited, guests will be able to travel from the airport to the lodging they have booked with their hotel voucher.
- What will apply to guests during their stay?
During their stay in Greece, visitors must also follow the measures that apply to all Greek citizens.
- Will there be activity protocols?
In all tourist activities, tourist transport and tourist visits to other places of interest, the same protocols as those in 2020 will apply, with some small adjustments. These protocols have proven to be effective, and will be updated according to epidemiological conditions. The Ministry of Tourism and the Hotel Chamber of Greece will provide certification to all lodgings that apply these protocols. Moreover, training material will be provided to the employees of these businesses, in order to ensure the correct application of all health and safety measures against Covid-19.
- Will there be quarantine hotels?
The plan for the opening of Greek Tourism provides for the existence of specific isolation (quarantine) hotels near each entrance gate, as well as in other strategic points nationwide. This way, an adequate safety net for case management will be in place, combined with an early detection upon the arrival of tourists from abroad.
- What will apply to minors under the age of 12?
Children under the age of 5 will not be required to undergo a PCR test.
- When will the departure and arrival of private yachts be allowed and from which countries?
The departure and arrival of yachts (except those coming from Albania and Turkey) will be allowed from the 3rd of May and onwards, with some restrictions, while the same terms and conditions will apply both for Greek and foreign citizens
- What will apply to cruise ships?
By May 3rd , blue cruising will be allowed, i.e. cruising without intermediate stops in ports during the trip. Full opening, on May 14th, will lead to the complete removal of cruise restrictions, always enforcing very strict protocols that will apply to these activities.
- What if the visitor’s country requires a test for his/her return?
It is possible to perform PCR or antigen tests directly at the place where each guest stays, if the guest needs a test for returning home. This makes it easier for every tourist to be consistent with his/her obligations in order to safely return to his/her country.
- What applies to the organization of conferences?
Conferences will take place after May 15th as per normal, provided that all health protocols, which have been determined by the health committee, are followed.