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Greece will Welcome Travelers with Negative Covid-19 Test or Vaccination Certificate

There are currently a number of measures in place in Greece to limit the spread of Covid-19, including moving citizens and visitors, and opening shops and services across the country. We all keep our fingers crossed and hope that we can travel again in the summer.

“THE PREREQUISITE FOR A TRIP TO OUR COUNTRY IS THE NEGATIVE MOLECULAR TEST OR THE VACCINATION CERTIFICATE.”

16.02.2021 – HARRY THEOHARIS – GREEK MINISTER OF TOURISM

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis clarified that Greece this year will be open to all visitors holding either a negative molecular Covid-19 test or a vaccination certificate when entering the country. Wanting to put an end to rumors that Covid-19 vaccination will be the exclusive prerequisite for travel to Greece, the minister told Thema 104.6FM that no hotel in the country will refuse hospitality to a visitor that has not been vaccinated.

“The prerequisite for someone to travel to our country (and stay) will be the negative molecular test or the certificate of vaccination,” Theoharis said, adding that if someone does not want to show their vaccination certificate when entering Greece, they can present a negative coronavirus test.

The idea behind travelers holding vaccination certificates is for them to be able to move freely within European countries, without restrictions such as being obliged to undergo Covid-19 testing. On the other hand, unvaccinated citizens will be obliged to present a negative PCR test or antigen test at border points (and possibly undergo quarantine depending on a country’s rules).

Although Greece does not promise a complete relaxation of the restrictions, the early announcements give reason for hope for Greece and Crete trips this year. The associated restrictions only relate to the fact that a current, negative corona test must be presented.

Minister Theoharis expressed his optimism for tourism and said he expects 2021 to be a better year than 2020 was for Greece and estimated that travel may pick up after the Easter holiday.

Do you want to visit Crete before the tourist season starts? It is possible, but please notice the following restrictions:

Entry to Greece has been linked to multiple restrictions since November 2020. In addition to a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72 hours, a seven-day quarantine is also required. Furthermore, travelers must register online at least 24 hours before departure. They will then receive a QR code that they must be shown upon entry. 

Only essential shops and services are operating as normal, such as supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, petrol stations and medical providers (with capacity restrictions and social distancing measures in place). Restaurants and bars are temporarily closed, although it’s still possible to order takeaways and deliveries. Museums, galleries, archaeological sites, cinemas, gyms, parks and other entertainment venues are currently closed. Face masks must be worn in public areas (indoors and outside), after sending a 13033 Citizen Movement text stating your reason for going out. If you have no greek phone number, you can write a paper with the details.

1.    Visiting a doctor or pharmacy
2.    Shopping for basic necessities (eg supermarkets and bakeries)
3.    Going to the bank (ATM and basic services)
4.    Attending a ceremony such as a funeral (according to strict guidelines)
5.    Assisting someone in need (eg an elderly or vulnerable person)
6.    Going out for exercise or walking a pet 

A night curfew is also in place, at the moment (at least until 08.03.2021) from 6 pm to 5 am, allowing movement outside these hours only for work (with the necessary paperwork from your employer), health emergencies, or walking a pet near your place of residence. Non-compliance with all measures carries a €300 fine. 

Flights are still operating to/from and within Greece, according to international and EU travel restrictions. Passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken up to 72hrs before arrival (with the exception of children up to 10 years old and transit passengers). Further restrictions may also be in place according to your country of departure, so be sure to check entry and possible quarantine requirements before traveling. 

You are also required to have filled in a Passenger Locator Form up to 24hrs before your flight.

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