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Crete, Greece Opens to Travelers: Useful Info

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Friday presented details on Greece’s gradual opening to tourism as of Monday, June 15.

During a joint media briefing with Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, Theoharis provided information on travel to Greece by air, land and sea, in the post-Covid-19 period, from June 15 and from July 1 onwards.

According to the minister, from June 15 until June 30, Greece will follow the European Commission’s proposal and extend the temporary restriction on non-essential travel from non-EU countries.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided important updated information on travel to Greece in the post-Covid-19 era, during June 15-30 and from July 1 onwards.

Answers to frequently asked questions are included.

June 15 to June 30

Aligned with European Commission communication with regards to the ban of non-essential travel from non-EU+ countries.
EU+ consists of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

AIR
International flights are allowed into Athens and Thessaloniki airports (continuation of ban for flights from the UK & Turkey).
Arrivals to Athens Airport: If you originate from an EU + airport on the EASA affected area list or from Belgium, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Albania and North Macedonia, then you will be tested upon arrival. An overnight stay either at a designated hotel or at a hotel/residence of choice (in Athens) is required. If the test is negative, the visitor is then free to move to their final destination.  If the test is positive, the visitor is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.
If your travel originated from all other origin airports, then you are only subject to random tests upon arrival. Upon being tested, the visitor is free to move to their final destination. If the test is positive, the visitor is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.
Arrivals to Thessaloniki Airport: All visitors will be tested upon arrival. An overnight stay either at a designated hotel or at a hotel/residence of choice (in Thessaloniki) is required.

LAND
The land border with Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia is open only for goods transportation services.
The land border with Bulgaria is open, also for Serbian citizens, and visitors are subject to sample testing.

SEA
Ban on arrival of ships from abroad to Greek ports.
The arrival of leisure yachts is permitted only with crew (arrival of yachts coming from Albania and Turkey is not permitted).

1st July onwards

AIR
International flights are allowed into all airports in Greece.
Additional restrictions on non-essential travel from non-EU+ countries may be applicable, pending guidance from the European Union.

LAND
Land border arrivals from Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria are allowed. Re-evaluation with regards to Turkey by 30 June.

SEA
Arrivals by sea are allowed.

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All visitors from air, land or sea, will be subject to random tests upon arrival. Upon being tested, the passenger is free to move to their final destination. In the event of a positive result, they will be contacted and placed on 14-day quarantine, with expenses covered by the Greek state.

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All visitors are strongly recommended to download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free prior or upon arrival in Greece.
Visitors should complete (ideally before travel) a Passenger Locator Factor form (PLF) with their contact details in Greece. This can also be found on the Visit Greece app (will be available soon) in hard copy during the flight and at a designated web based form.

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Greece at any stage retains the right to modify any of the above in light of changing epidemiological data. A Team of Experts with the Ministry of Health evaluates the epidemiological data on a regular basis and recommends changes to restrictions.

Answers to frequent asked questions (FAQs)

Q. Who will cover the expenses of the management and hospitalization of a COVID 19 case?
A. Access to all required health services will be provided by the Greek State free of charge to visitors with no insurance coverage. In the case of EU citizens, all related costs will be covered and then handled according to EU rules and Guidance Notes.

Q: What happens if an infection is confirmed at a hotel?
A: In the event of a confirmed infection, close contacts of the case will be transferred to a separate quarantine accommodation at the expense of the Greek state. Remaining guests will continue their holidays.

Q: If someone misses their return flight because of illness or symptoms or misses prepaid accommodation is there a refund policy or other framework that could cover expenses?
A: Greece will cover transfer to hospital and medical costs as well as stay in quarantine hotel if needed. We urge airlines travel agents and hotels to offer maximum flexibility during this time of customer and regulatory uncertainty.

Q: Can a visitor provide the results of a molecular test (conducted up to 72 hours prior to arrival) to avoid being tested?
A: Subject to evaluation, such tests can be accepted.

Q: Health Protocols of Hotels. How is protocol compliance ensured? With whom should tourists communicate in case protocols are not followed?
A: The Ministry of Tourism is already preparing a focused plan of audits and we encourage all enterprises to seek third party accreditation. We have also set up a training and information website for employees and owners in order to ensure that the knowledge of the protocols is disseminated in a timely and responsible manner. Finally, we have established steep fines for those neglecting their duties. In case of complaints visitors can call the four-digit number 1572 of the Ministry Tourism.

* Please note: Restrictions, testing requirements, and mandatory quarantine measures are reported and updated based on official information provided to GTP Headlines by health and government authorities, and are subject to change – sometimes with little or no advance notice – depending on how successful Covid-19 management/infection rates reported at airports of origin and according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines.
For answers to questions not found above, travelers are advised to contact the closest Greek Embassy or consulate prior to travel or consult directly with the airport.

Source: GTP Headlines

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