After several very long months, Greece started lifting lockdown restrictions through summer and autumn last year – and now it wants to help salvage your 2021 holiday plans. The country has already resumed flights to all its major airports and is now set to loosen its travel restrictions further as it gears up for peak summer tourist season.
Travellers currently allowed in include residents and citizens of the EU and Schengen member states, plus the UK and around a dozen other countries around the world including the United States, Australia, Japan, Israel and Turkey.
There are also new rules for international arrivals. All visitors must fill out a ‘passenger locator form’ at least 24 hours before arriving. This requires ‘detailed information on [passengers’] point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece’. They must also bring a negative test result from within 72 hours of arrival, and for the time being, quarantine for seven days on arrival.
As of April 19, you’ll be able to skip the mandatory self-isolation period if you're coming from the EU, USA, UK, Israel, the UAE or Serbia. All tourists will still have to prove they have had the vaccine, have antibodies, or provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours.
There will also be random testing at the airport, and if your test comes positive, the country’s tourism minister has said all healthcare costs will be covered by the Greek state.
So in other words: it’s not actually that long before you will be able to jet off on that balmy Aegean or Mediterranean getaway. Just don’t forget that all-important test result – or vaccine certificate, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.