Update: As of May 1, 2022, the Greek Government no longer requires proof of vaccination, proof of convalescence or proof of testing for entry into Greece. You can find more details on the official website of the Greek Ministry of Tourism.
Thanks to its powder-soft sandy beaches and rich culture reflected by the 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Greece is one of the most glamorous tourist destinations in Europe.
As Greece has opened up to tourism again, there are some measures in place for international travellers aiming to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, hotels, archeological sites and museums are open, operating with strict government-imposed safety protocols.
With its resurgent travel and tourism economy, Greece was elected “Europe’s leading destination” at the 28th edition of the European World Travel Awards (WTA). Established in 1993, WTA is recognised all over the world as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. Based on the votes of top-tier travel experts, its awards are known as the “Oscars of the travel industry”.
If you’re looking for a jaw-dropping destination, all you need to do is visit Greece and get to know its history, iconic islands, and grand nature. But first, let’s take a closer look at Greece’s current entry restrictions and requirements.
Table of contents:
- Travelling to Greece during COVID-19: The basics
- Greece: COVID-19 travel rules and entry requirements
- How to use the COVID-19 digital green certificate in Greece
- What happens if you test positive for COVID-19 while visiting Greece?
1. Travelling to Greece During COVID-19: The Basics
As we enter year two of the pandemic, every European country seems to have wildly different COVID-19 entry rules.
All Schengen Member States have been updating their entry requirements since the pandemic, making travellers more confused.
There are numerous new entry rules to existing ones. Keeping up with constantly changing travel restrictions seems more challenging than ever.
Luckily, Visas Association can give you a helping hand by providing you with complete information regarding the travel restrictions imposed by the Greek Government.
Before planning your trip to Greece and applying for a Schengen Visa, please consider that:
- Greece’s travel restrictions are NOT the same as the travel restrictions imposed by the governments of other Schengen countries. It is your responsibility to inform yourself about the rules and regulations that apply in all Schengen countries that you may travel to or transit through.
- When submitting your Schengen Visa application, you may be required to provide your COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate.
- In all cases, the standard Schengen Visa requirements apply.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the rules you must follow when crossing the Greek borders during the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Greece: COVID-19 Travel Rules and Entry Requirements
If you come from any of the following countries and areas, you do NOT need to quarantine when arriving in Greece:
European Union & Schengen Area, USA, UK, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrein, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, the Russian Federation*, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, and Ukraine.
However, when entering Greece, you must provide:
- Proof that you have completed the anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination cycle and received either 1 dose out of 1 or 2 doses out of 2 at least 14 days before entering Greece. Acceptable vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm.
- Proof of recovery from COVID-19. You can present a positive PCR molecular or an antigen test result performed by an authorised laboratory or a medical certificate confirming you had Covid-19. The certificate is issued 30 days after the day of the first positive COVID-19 test and is valid for 180 days after it.
- A pre-departure negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to your arrival.
*If you travel from the Russian Federation, you must carry a negative PCR molecular test result from a testing laboratory taken up to 72 hours before arrival, or a negative antigen (rapid) test result taken up to 48 hours before arrival regardless if you are vaccinated or not.
Greece is accepting vaccination certificates in the following languages: Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian.
Please note that regardless of the COVID-19 certificate in your possession, you may undergo a random health screening when arriving in Greece. If you are selected, the screening is mandatory. Otherwise, the Greek authorities reserve the right to refuse your entry into the country.
You will also have to fill a Passenger Location Form outlining details on your country of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of your stay while in Greece.
Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements.
3. How to Use the COVID-19 Digital Green Certificate in Greece
Being fully vaccinated is a mandatory requirement to access some indoor spaces such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theatres, clubs, bars and sports facilities in Greece.
As of mid-July 2021, entertainment and F&B venues in Greece are divided into COVID-19 vaccinated-only and mixed spaces.
Vaccinated-only spaces are for the fully vaccinated (after 14 days) and those who have recovered in the last six months from COVID-19. These spaces operate at 75-80% capacity and with no mask requirement.
Mixed spaces are accepting vaccinated customers, those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months and people providing a negative PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours or rapid test taken in the previous 48 hours. These spaces operate at 25 to 75% capacity.
Each venue displays a special label at the entrance: “COVID-free” (vaccinated-only spaces) and “mixed space”.
4. What Happens If You Test Positive for COVID-19 While Visiting Greece?
If you test positive in Greece, you will be quarantined for 10-14 days (or 7 days if you have been fully vaccinated). In that case, you must return to your place of accommodation, inform the owner that you have been tested positive for COVID-19, and take all necessary personal hygiene measures.
The quarantine period cannot be shortened, even if you take a PCR test and the result is negative.
Depending on the circumstances, the Greek Civil Protection authorities may move you to a designated quarantine hotel provided by the Greek state. The expenses for the quarantine hotel are covered by the Greek government.
The Greek Civil Protection authorities can be contacted directly at (+30) 213-1510100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may contact the National Public Health Organisation at 1135 or (+30) 210-5212054.
Conclusion: Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the safety measures, tourism has bounced back in the sun-soaked islands of Greece.
Please note that the list of countries allowed to enter Greece may change depending on how the global epidemic evolves, so make sure you stay informed about the latest changes by accessing the official website of the Greek Ministry of Tourism.
Want to make travelling fun and exciting? Visas Association can help you reach your dream destinations as smoothly as possible. Get your 100% FREE Visa Consultation today to ensure you have the highest chance of success in receiving your Schengen Visa and making the most of your lovely trip to Europe!