The whole of Greece is back on the green list. This week, Mykonos – the final piece in the puzzle – was given the all-clear, giving Britons another last-minute autumn holiday option.
Previously, different countries within the UK had been making their own rules, but now the whole of the UK is aligned when it comes to Greece. This means that those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also able to visit every part of Greece without needing to quarantine upon their return (local lockdown rules notwithstanding).
Can I holiday in Greece?
Yes. The Foreign Office (FCDO) explains: "Mainland Greece and all Greek islands, are exempt from the FCDO’s advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. If you are returning to the UK from mainland Greece or the Greek islands, you do not need to self-isolate on your return.
"However, you must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before your arrival in Greece. The form is in English, and is required whichever way you travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air). Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.
"Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.
"Some airlines may require individual PLFs for every traveller over the age of 18 within the same household. Check directly with your airline what you will need to show to be allowed boarding. Remember that you will need to complete PLFs at least 24 hours before your flight.
"Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email acknowledgement. In a separate email, you will also receive a QR code. This code is likely to be sent up to 24 hours before you travel, regardless of how early you fill in your form. When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone.
"If you are travelling by air to Greece, your airline will ask you to prove that you have completed the PLF form. You should print or show (e.g. on your phone) your email confirming submission of the form (or the QR code you have subsequently received). Failure to do so could result in you being refused boarding to the flight.
"If you are travelling by ferry to Greece, the ferry operator will ask you to complete an additional form (‘Pre Boarding Information’), alongside your PLF. This additional form will be provided by the ferry operator, either via their website, or at booking offices: you should contact them directly if you need further information. Temperature checks may also be carried out before boarding; and it is obligatory to wear masks on all ferries, where capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.
"On arrival in Greece by land, sea or air, you will need to show your QR code to the Greek authorities. Make sure you have either a printed copy of the code, or can show it on your phone. Failure to provide your PLF form/ QR code will result in a fine or you may be refused entry to Greece."
Do I have to have a test on arrival?
You might do. The FCDO says: "Any passenger entering Greece may be asked to undergo a test for COVID-19, but you are more likely to be asked if you have arrived from a country outside of the EU (including the UK), either directly or via indirect flights."
If you are required to take a test on arrival:
- The Greek authorities are likely to ask you to quarantine until you are advised otherwise. You may be required to move to government-provided accommodation until your test result is available. If you’re asked to move, the costs of transfer and your new accommodation will be paid by the Greek authorities. The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other place of stay. Depending on local arrangements and capacity, travellers in groups may be required to stay in separate accommodation
- If your test result is negative, the Greek authorities will inform you, and you will be free to move to your pre-booked accommodation, unless the authorities have other reasons to require you to continue your quarantine. For example, if you have tested negative but contact tracing suggests you have been in proximity to someone else who has tested positive, you may be asked to continue quarantining for a further period (likely to be 14 days; or, with the agreement of the authorities, 8-10 days followed by certification by a medical professional that you are free of COVID-19 (you may be required to pay any costs related to medical treatment/ certification)). Following completion of any quarantine, you should continue to follow all coronavirus-prevention guidance from the local authorities, including on social distancing.
- If your test result is positive, the Greek authorities are likely to ask you to quarantine for 14 days, or until the date of your departure from Greece. You may be required to remain in government-provided accommodation for the duration of this self-isolation period.
If you are not required to take a test on arrival, you will not be required to self-isolate.
Are there social distancing measures in place?
There is a nationwide limit of 50 people on the number that can gather for public and social events, except those to which special rules apply, such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas.
Shops, bars and restaurants are open, as are other service providers like driving schools and private tuition centres (‘frontisteria’). Relevant public health regulations apply when visiting shops, bars, restaurants and other public spaces, including limits on the number of customers per square metre.
Must I wear a face mask?
The following nationwide rules are in place around the use of face masks in Greece:
- Mandatory use of a mask on all public transport within Greece, including on ferries;
- Mandatory use of a mask at airports and on aeroplanes;
- Mandatory use of masks in all public indoor spaces, including medical and healthcare facilities, lifts, staircases and any enclosed venue providing goods or services (including supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, cafes, banks, government and utility providers’ offices, retail shops, barber shops, hairdressers and beauty parlours and places of worship);
- Mandatory use of a mask in high-security areas within camps, social and care facilities and accommodation for refugees and migrants;
- Mandatory use of a mask in all indoor workplaces;
- Mandatory use of a mask in all crowded outdoor spaces, where social distancing cannot be maintained, including at bus stops, in public parks and squares;
- Recommendation for general use of masks for a week by travellers to Greece from areas with high coronavirus rates