Travel to Greece: latest holiday advice as Covid rules are tightened

Do I need to take a test before travel to Greece? 

All travellers aged five years and above must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before they arrive, and bring with them either a negative PCR test (no more than 72 hours old) or a negative rapid antigen test (issued by an authorised laboratory and undertaken within the 24-hour period before arrival). 

In addition, arrivals may be required to undergo a rapid test on arrival. If they test positive, they (and those travelling with them) will have to self-isolate for at least five days at home or in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.

No additional curbs are placed on unvaccinated travellers at the border. However, significant restrictions are in force on the ground (see below). 

Do I need to wear a mask? 

Mask wearing indoors and out is also obligatory since mid-January 2022 and it is now mandatory to wear FFP2 masks or double masks in supermarkets. 

In practice, Greeks tend to shed their face covers out of doors and in many rural areas, but mask-wearing is strictly enforced in towns – especially in supermarkets and shops. No-one wears masks out on the ski slopes.

What are the rules on beaches? 

With sunbeds set at a reglementary distance of 1.5m from each other, social distancing is the rule on Greek beaches. In practise, however, in more crowded resorts such as Mykonos the rules are rarely respected.

Masks are supposed to be mandatory on the beach, but no-one wears them.

What are the rules in bars? 

Unable to play music, obliged to respect a midnight curfew, and only allowed to serve vaccinated customers, Greek bars have been hit badly by the pandemic and many have been forced to close. 

Due to the recent surge in cases, even stricter laws – including a seated-only rule – have been reintroduced and there are stiff penalties for owners who allow their customers to stand, dance or mingle with each other on their premises. 

What are the rules for restaurants? 

As with bars, since late December 2021 only vaccinated clients are allowed to sit at indoor and outdoor tables of restaurants, with a maximum of six per table. Businesses use a government-launched app to scan digital vaccination certificates and check their validity. 

Customers (indoors and out) must remain seated and wait to be served. Masks are mandatory when leaving the table or visiting the toilet. 

What are the rules for shopping? 

Mask-wearing is mandatory in all inside spaces and in supermarkets FFP2 masks or double masks are obligatory, although in rural areas there has been very little action taken to enforce the law. 

In order to respect the two-metre distance rule most shops will also limit entry according to capacity. In larger supermarkets mask-wearing is strictly enforced, although social distancing tends to be more lax. 

What are the rules in hotels? 

Trialled during the tough 2020 season, most hotels have now streamlined their Covid strategies, with Plexiglas shields at reception, touch free check-in and amended room entry/exit times (usually 3pm in and 11am out) to allow thorough room cleansing. Staff must self-test twice a week (although many are fully vaccinated). 

Restaurants offer seated service, or provide gloves and masks for self-service buffets. 

What are the rules on public transport? 

Since July 15 passenger on ferries or domestic flights in Greece must have an official Covid-19 vaccination certificate or EU digital Covid certificate clearly noting the traveller’s name, the type of vaccine administered and the number of doses.

With new rules regulating ferry travel in force at the end of August, passengers on domestic sailings must fill in this health declaration form at least 24 hours before travelling to their destination.

Mask wearing is mandatory on all public transport, including buses, taxis and the Athens metro; also in crowded areas outdoors. 

Shall I take cash, or pay for everything on card? 

Although it’s now illegal for Greek business owners to refuse to your credit card, in practise you will still find places where ‘the machine doesn’t work’ (and frequent internet outages mean that sometimes they really don’t) so it’s wise to carry a small amount of cash with you. 

Since seasonal workers are really struggling to survive this year – with many receiving a pittance wage of 500 euros (or less) per month – it’s also worth taking some cash for tips, which will be warmly welcomed.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.