As the summer approaches there is a key question on many people’s minds: “When will I be able to travel to Greece again?”
We are here seeking to provide the most up-date-information about the situation in Greece and developments regarding tourism and international travel to the country. As the situation is likely to remain fluid for the coming weeks, we will be regularly updating this article with the latest developments.
Greece has timely taken all necessary actions that seized effectively the covid-19 spread in the country. As a result, today Greece reports less than 3.500 cases and 192 deaths in total, up to the 1st of July. Most importantly, in the past weeks following the first gradual lift of measures taken against the spread, there has not been any significant upturn in cases.
The government has announced a two-month plan in order for the country to return to normalcy, keeping always in mind that the health both of Greek citizens and the tourists is a top priority.
Greece will cover transfer to hospital and medical costs as well as stay in quarantine hotel if needed.
The Greek state is also urging airlines travel agents and hotels to offer maximum flexibility during this time of customer and regulatory uncertainty.
The government recommends travelers download the free Visit Greece app prior to their arrival.
Flights, Ferries, Public Transports
As of July 1st, all Greek airports reopened to international flights, both direct and transit ones. Direct flights are now open for passengers coming from the EU+ countries (EU countries plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Ireland), as well as to 14 non-Eu countries: Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, N. Zealand, S. Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Uruguay Thailand, Tunisia and China Exceptions apply to passengers from countries which are seriously affected by the pandemic, among which the USA, Russia, Brazil, UK, Turkey and Sweden until 15.07.20.
Additional restrictions on non-essential travel from non-EU countries may be applicable, pending guidance from the European Union.
All passengers travelling on international flights to Greece are required to fill in and electronically submit the compulsory Passenger Locator Form (PLF) 48 hours before departure.
All bans and restrictions for the domestic flights in Greece have been lifted as of 25/5/2020.
As of June 15, the land border with Bulgaria Albania and North Macedonia is open, and visitors are subject to sample testing.
From July 1, international arrivals by sea and docking at Greek ports are allowed.
For transport by car, tourist bus and train the use of masks is mandatory, while traveling is carried out with a 50% capacity
All year-round resorts, including Villas and hotels are open as of June 1st, while seasonal resorts will open on June 15th.
Health protocols have been designed for the safe reopening and operation of resorts, across the country:
All resorts are obliged to have a doctor on call and follow enhanced disinfection and deep cleaning practices, Staff members are obliged to follow the necessary hygiene, while queuing at reception during check-in / check-out must be avoided. Bills, invoices and receipts are recommended to be sent by email and key cards must be disinfected.
Outdoor swimming pools are allowed to operate, according to the current legal framework.
As of 25th May however, yachting in Greek seas is allowed, as it is the safest tourist activity
As of May 8 the use of masks is compulsory on all public transports (metro, buses, taxis, private cars etc.). In accordance to the law, taxis/mini vans of 5 and 7 seats or private vehicles/mini vans can transfer solely up to two passengers.
For mini vans with capacity of 8 and 9 seats 3 passengers can ride the vehicles. Exception of the restriction is provided for parents with minor children. A 150 euros fine will be imposed on passengers that break the rules.
Both indoor and outdoor seating is now permitted at restaurants across the country. By government guidelines, tables are placed with a safe distance between them.
Maximum allowed number of table guests is six persons, except for families with minor children. It is mandatory for the staff to wear a mask or a face shield, whereas it is highly recommended to customers to do the same.
As of May 16, Beach clubs are open, however with new rules for their operation. The public can also make use of free beaches and coastline, although are advised to respect social distancing guidelines.
Servers must wear face masks.
At hotel buffets disinfectant will be provided for hands at the dining area’s entrance. All hotels must install sneeze guards (protective food guards that protect buffet line entrées and sides from airborne contaminants). The food at the buffet will be served only by the hotel’s kitchen staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves). The customer should not come in contact with the food or the utensils at the buffet.
ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE
As of 15th June 2020, visits in museums is permitted. Archaeological sites now operate on extended summer hours (08:00-20:00) to avoid large crowds from forming. In order to maintain the minimum 1.5m safety distance between people, the number of visitors allowed in at every archaeological site is limited, as is the number of visitors allowed to enter every hour.
Specific routes have been demarcated, the entrance and exit separated, and plexiglass screens installed wherever needed and possible.
Public is advised to use masks, disinfectants and keep distances as they are applied.
Commercial shops have already opened as of May 11th, while shopping malls and outlets have opened on May 18th. Consumers and staff are advised to use masks and disinfectants. Distance between customers must be 1,5 m.
As of May16th access to beaches providing amenities is open but in accordance to strict health safety rules. Private beaches have a capacity restriction of 40 persons per 1.000 square meters and 4 m. distance between umbrellas is compulsory, each of which will provide shade for two sun loungers at most – this does not apply to families with children. Two sunbeds that are under different umbrellas cannot be placed closer to each other than 1.5m. Placing a towel on top of sun loungers is mandatory and considered the responsibility of the user. The staff at organized beaches and beach clubs are required to disinfect sun loungers/chairs after every use. Additionally, they must regularly disinfect sanitary facilities and post a schedule of that cleaning for official review.
Beach bars and food trucks offering food and drink can serve items in a package. Alcohol can be sold but cannot be consumed at the bar to prevent overcrowding.
The ban on playing music at organized beaches has been lifted. However, it is recommended for owners of bars and cafes operating in beach areas to avoid holding events that would cause overcrowding.
If you plan your wedding in an orthodox church the restriction of 1 person per 10 square meters will be imposed, in order to ensure a safe distance of 1,5 m. between your guests.
If you plan a civil wedding, it is recommended to get in touch with the competent municipality or your wedding planner in order to get informed of the restrictions that are applied in each case. The guests are advised to use masks, disinfectants and keep their interpersonal safety distances.
Note that all of the above dates are subject to change, depending on the course of the epidemic in the country. Any potential resurgence of the virus will lead to delays and possibly reversals of the above measures