Greece Opens to Tourists - Entry Requirements, Who Can Come, Rules to Follow
May 17, 2021
Good news ....
Greece on Friday, May 14, opened its borders by air, sea and road to travelers following months of travel restrictions.
However, specific entry requirements and rules are in place as announced by the Greek authorities.
Greece will allow entrance to travelers that have filled out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) one day before travel (the PLF is mandatory) and have a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken no later than 72 hours before arrival. This test is mandatory for all travelers (including children over the age of 5), regardless of the epidemiological situation in the country of departure.
However, proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test is not required for all travelers that have completed their vaccination (i.e., 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination, depending on the doses required) and hold a vaccination certificate. Acceptable vaccines are: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm.
Also, proof of a negative test is not required if the traveler has recovered from Covid-19 in the past 9 months. This can be proven through a certificate of recovery issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory.
All certificates must include the relevant information (i.e. number of doses and their respective dates) in either English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian. The person’s full name must match the name on the passport or any other recognized travel document.
Every traveler who arrives in Greece, regardless of the certificate in their possession, may be selected to undergo a random health screening. If you are selected, please keep in mind that the screening is mandatory. In case of refusal, authorities reserve the right to refuse your entry into the country. The selection is made through the Greece’s targeted sampling system “EVA” used also in the summer of 2020.
Isolation (quarantine) is mandatory if someone tests positive for Covid-19, following a sampling test. In this case, the travelers and their travel companions are accommodated in quarantine hotels, where they will undergo further PCR testing to confirm the initial diagnosis. Guests will stay in seclusion hotels for at least 10 days. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.
Who can come to Greece
At the moment, travelers from the following countries* are allowed to enter Greece – provided they have the required documentation – without the requirement for subsequent self-isolation: EU & Schengen Area countries, Australia, Northern Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, New Zealand, Cuba, South Korea, Ukraine, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore and Thailand.
* Regulations concerning countries on the admission list are subject to change by the Greek authorities, when renewed assessments are made based on epidemiological data from country of origin.
Getting to Greece by Air
Passengers are allowed to enter the country through all international airports.
Non-EU citizens are strongly advised to choose direct flights to Greece. In any other case, travelers should abide by the stop-over country requirements.
For rules on travel by air to the Greek islands while in Greece (domestic travel), press here.
Getting to Greece by Land – Road Border Points
At the moment, travellers are allowed to enter from the land borders in northern Greece through the entry gates of Promachonas and Ormeni on a 24-hour basis and Evzoni from 07:00 to 23:00.
With regard to other land border points, the following applies, as announced on Friday by Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias:
Entrance to Greece through the border checkpoints of Kakavia from 7am until 7pm and Kipi from 7pm to 11pm is allowed only for:
– Greek citizens, including their spouses or persons with whom they have entered into a cohabitation agreement, as well as their children (minors)
– holders of a residence permit
– holders of special expatriate identity cards
– persons that have their main residence in Greece.
Travelers should note that they may be requested at the border point to present relevant documents as proof of the above.
The Kakavia border checkpoint allows the entry of a maximum of 400 people per day, not counting truck drivers.
The passage of trucks for the transport of goods is possible through the border checkpoints of Promachonas, Ormeni, Evzoni, Kipi, Exochi and Nymfaia from 7am until 11pm and through Kakavia from 7am until 7pm.
Getting to Greece by Sea – Ports
Admission into Greece by sea is allowed through the ports of Patra, Igoumenitsa and Corfu. Maritime connections with Albania and Turkey are temporarily restricted.
It is noted that cruising and yachting is allowed.
The departure and arrival of yachts (except those coming from Albania and Turkey) is allowed with some restrictions, while the same terms and conditions will apply both for Greek and foreign citizens.
Cruise restrictions have been lifted. Cruise ships follow very strict protocols.
For rules on travel by ferry to the Greek islands while in Greece (domestic travel), press here.
Rules to Follow
During their stay in Greece, visitors must follow all measures that apply to Greek citizens and permanent residents.
Movements are allowed daily from 05:00 to 00:30 across the country.
The use of non-medical face masks is mandatory indoors and outdoors throughout Greece. The restriction does not apply to:
– individuals for whom wearing a face mask is not recommended on account of their documented medical condition, e.g. respiratory problems
– children under the age of 4.
Archaeological sites, museums, caves (rules will change after May 24)
- Museums are open.
- Open-air spaces may be visited on the condition that:
– visitors keep a 1.5 m physical distance from each other
– one person is allowed per 10 m2 of space
– visitors enter in groups of up to 15 individuals, with the exception of families (spouses / partners and children)
- Service is provided in outdoor spaces ONLY. Music is not allowed to be played and all customers must be seated. An exception applies to restaurants, bars, and cafes operating in indoor hotel spaces and serving hotel guests only.
- An arrangement of tables and seats must be made as per the physical distancing & health protection guidelines in place.
- In bars and cafes, two customers may be seated on stools at the counter and a 1.5 m distance must be kept from the next two customers.
- Opening hours are 05:00 to 22:45.
- Customers waiting for a table must wear a face mask.
- Up to six (6) individuals are seated per table.
Entertainment/music venues (nightclubs) remain closed.
- Following an entrance check, up to eighty (80) individuals are allowed per 1000 m2 of beach area.
- Up to 2 persons are allowed per umbrella, with the exception of families.
- All cinemas are closed.
- Open-air cinemas will resume operation on May 21 and operate on a 75 percent capacity so as to ensure social distancing of customers.
Live cultural events and shows will begin to take place on May 28 only in outdoor areas and only a seated audience.
- Public transport means will run at 65% capacity.
- Tour buses and city sightseeing buses whether open-top or not will run at 85% capacity.
- Vehicles for public use (e.g. taxis, special hire vehicles) and private cars as well as private hire vehicles with a chauffeur may carry up to 2 passengers in addition to the driver. An exception applies to adults with children, and to individuals who are in need of a second passenger to aid them during their transport.
- Up to 3 persons in addition to the driver can ride in double-cab pick- ups, mixed used vehicles and vans. This number may be higher for families with children.
All information provided is based on official announcements of the Greek authorities.
The Greek government has detailed information on a dedicated website, which includes frequently asked questions, on how Greece will be welcoming visitors this year.
Travelers in need of information regarding specific details are recommended to contact their embassy, airline or the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.