Greece Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

Greece Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

Everything you need to know for your next trip to Greece.

From ancient temples and sun-drenched beaches to blue-domed churches and whitewashed houses with views of the caldera, the Greek Islands draws millions of travellers in search of the perfect European vacation. On 14 May 2021, Greece began to reopen its borders for tourism and became the most widely visited destination in Europe over the summer.  

Whether you’re travelling to see the volcanic cliffs in Santorini or the island nightlife in Mykonos, it’s more important than ever to stay informed about the COVID-19 situation and travel restrictions in Greece. Here’s everything you need to know to start planning your trip to Greece.

Greece travel overview 

Travel to Greece: Travel Restrictions and Entry Requirements

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Vaccination status 

59% of the population in Greece has been fully vaccinated, as of 3 Oct 2021.  

Citizens and nationals allowed entry without quarantine 

Greece is open for tourism and allows quarantine-free entry to residents from European Union (EU) and Schengen Area countries, as well as travellers from these non-EU countries and territories: 

1. Albania
2. Armenia
3. Australia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Bahrain
6. Belarus
7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
8. Brunei
9. Canada
10. China
11. Israel
12. Japan
13. Jordan
14. Kosovo
15. Kuwait
16. Lebanon
17. Moldova
18. Montenegro
19. New Zealand
20. Northern Macedonia
21. Qatar
22. Rwanda
23. Russia
24. Saudi Arabia
25. Serbia
26. Singapore
27. South Korea
28. Taiwan
29. Thailand
30. Turkey
31. Ukraine
32. United Arab Emirates
33. United Kingdom
34. United States of America

International travellers from the countries mentioned above do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Greece unless they test positive for COVID-19. Residents from any country outside EU and Schengen Areas or a country that was not mentioned on the list are not permitted to travel to Greece. 

Entry requirements for travellers from Russia 

All travellers from Russia, regardless of their vaccination status, must present a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours before their arrival or a negative antigen test conducted within 48 hours before their arrival. 

Pre-arrival required documents for travel to Greece 

Greece Is Open for Tourism: Required Documents for Travel to Greece

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1. Passenger Locator Form (PLF)

All flight passengers, regardless of their nationality, must complete the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours (Greek time) prior to their arrival in Greece. 

Travellers need to fill out information regarding their point of departure, the duration of their previous stays in other countries, and their address in Greece. If a traveller is staying in multiple accommodations, their address for the first 24 hours will suffice. Only one PLF should be completed per family.

After completing the form, travellers will receive a unique QR code sent via email. They can present this QR code to authorities in a digital or printed format upon their arrival in Greece. 

Fill out the PLF here

2. Proof of vaccination, recovery from prior infection, or a negative test result

In addition to filling out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), visitors can travel to Greece without quarantine restrictions as long as they present one of the following requirements: 

  • A vaccination certificate issued by a certified authority, indicating that 14 days have passed since the traveller’s final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccination certificate must include the type of vaccine given, the number of doses, and the dates they were administered. Accepted vaccines in Greece include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, Sputnik V, Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm, among others. 
  • A negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test from an authorised laboratory that was conducted within 72 hours before travelling to Greece; or, a negative rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory conducted within 48 hours before arrival. Refer to the list of authorised laboratories here
  • A certificate of recovery from a public authority or certified laboratory that proves the traveller has tested positive with COVID-19 in the past nine months. This certificate can be issued 30 days after the positive test result, and it is valid for 180 days or six months after the issue date. 
  • An EU Digital Covid Certificate containing information on whether the passenger has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, tested negative, or recovered from infection. 

All certificates should contain the key information (number of doses, dates administered, etc.) in one of the following languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian. Moreover, the traveller’s full name on the certificates should match the name on their passport. 

These travel requirements for Greece apply to adults and children aged 12 and up. However, children under the age of 12 will not be required to undergo a PCR test. 

Arrival 

Travel to Greece: What to Know Before Visiting

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Unvaccinated travellers from select countries will be subject to rapid testing on arrival 

All unvaccinated flight passengers who are visiting Greece from the countries listed below, regardless of their citizenship, will be required to take a mandatory rapid test upon arrival at the airport: 

1. Albania
2. Argentina
3. Brazil
4. Bulgaria
5. China
6. Cuba
7. Egypt
8. Georgia
9. India
10. Libya
11. Morocco
12. North Macedonia
13. Pakistan
14. Russia
15. Turkey
16. United Arab Emirates

If the rapid test result turns out to be positive, then the individual must take a molecular PCR test to confirm the initial result. However, this does not apply to residents from the aforementioned countries who are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19 — except for Russian residents, as mentioned above. 

Travellers may be randomly selected for rapid testing on arrival 

All travellers may be selected to undergo a random antigen rapid test at the entrance gates. Selected individuals are drawn from the “EVA” sampling system. Keep in mind that once an individual is chosen, the health screening is mandatory. Failure to comply means that Greek authorities have the right to deny them entry into the country.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 from the rapid test will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine for a specific duration: 

  • If a person has been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days and tests positive, they must quarantine for 7 days.
  • If a person is not fully vaccinated and tests positive, they must quarantine for 10 days

Designated quarantine hotels in Greece are ready to accommodate travellers and their companions who test positive. In both scenarios above, travellers must take a PCR test on the last day of quarantine.

Wear a mask inside airports 

All travellers must wear a face mask at all times at the arrival and departure areas of airports and during domestic and international flights. 

During the stay 

Travel to Greece: What You Need to Know About Greece Travel Restrictions

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Travellers are not required to wear a mask in uncrowded outdoor areas in Greece. However, masks must be worn in crowded outdoor areas, indoor spaces, and communal areas, including public transportation, restaurants, cafes, shops, and the shared facilities of hotels.

Indoor and outdoor dining 

Outdoor Dining in Greece

Image credit: Johnny Chen

Restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs in Greece are open to seated customers with a limit of up to 10 people per table. All customers seeking to enter indoor venues are required to present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 (within the last 180 days or six months) to enter. 

Minors from 12 to 17 years old can enter indoor venues if they can present a negative rapid test taken within 48 hours. On the other hand, younger children from 4 to 11 years old must show a negative self-test taken within 24 hours

Indoor venues such as restaurants, cafes, and bars will allow entry only to vaccinated customers or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about Greece travel restrictions and requirements here

Culture and entertainment 

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Archaeological sites in Greece are open to tourists with a limit of up to 20 people per group, unless they are family members travelling together. Groups of travellers following a tour guide may include up to 40 people. All visitors are obliged to wear a face mask and practise social distancing at archaeological sites. 

Museums and monuments with indoor exhibitions are open to visitors with safety measures in place. Groups of up to 20 people are allowed to visit, unless they are family members travelling together. 

Open-air cinemas, indoor cinemas, and live events including concerts, dance or music shows, and theatrical performances are allowed to operate at reduced capacity. Customers need to buy an e-ticket, wear a face mask, and follow the safety guidelines of each venue. 

Unvaccinated travellers can still visit archaeological sites, theatres, museums, and sports venues in Greece as long as they can present a negative PCR test conducted within the last 48 hours. Keep in mind that some establishments have the right to allow entry only for vaccinated customers.

More on the requirements for cultural attractions and entertainment venues here

Beaches 

Image credit: Dimitris Mourousiadis

Beaches in Greece are open to tourists and allow up to 80 individuals for 1000sqm of the beach area. With the exception of families, only two individuals are allowed to use the same umbrella on the beach. 

COVID-19 testing while in Greece 

What if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

If a traveller tests positive COVID-19 while in Greece, they must go back to their place of accommodation, notify the owner or hotel reception of the positive test result, and self-isolate in their room and avoid contact with other people. 

Greek Civil Protection authorities can allow travellers to remain in their accommodation or move them to a state-provided quarantine hotel. In Greece, the expenses in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state. 

The quarantine period is typically 10 to 14 days, as determined by Greek authorities. Travellers must stay until the end of their quarantine, regardless of their flight schedule. Those who refuse to self-isolate can be fined up to €5,000.

In the event of a positive test result, travellers should know what their insurance can cover and be prepared to make the necessary arrangements to extend their stay in Greece. 

What if someone feels unwell or shows possible COVID-19 symptoms? 

If a traveller develops symptoms associated with COVID-19 during their stay in Greece, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, they should call the National Public Health Organization helpline at 1135 for medical attention and guidance on the next steps. Every visitor should abide by the health protocols implemented by the Greek Government without exception. 

Where can someone take a COVID-19 test before returning home?

Those who need to take a PCR test or a rapid antigen test can refer to the Greek National Tourism Organisation’s list of COVID-19 testing locations, which can be found here

Additionally, a map of diagnostic testing sites can be accessed on the Visit Greece app, which is available for download on Google Play or the App Store. The Greek National Tourism Organisation strongly recommends that all travellers download this app before they travel to Greece, as it provides relevant information and timely updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Return travel 

Greece Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

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Apart from these travel restrictions in Greece, it’s important to know the entry requirements for when you return to your country of origin. Check with your respective airline and official tourism office for what documents you will need to bring during the return trip to your country. 

For more information about travel restrictions in Greece, visit travel.gov.grGreeceHealthFirst.gr, and the official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation. 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, shopping, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits patiently for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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