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Traveling to Greece during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN logo CNN 4 days ago CNN Staff
a castle like building in a city: Greece has ancient ruins like the Parthenon, plus some of Europe's loveliest islands. © Shutterstock Greece has ancient ruins like the Parthenon, plus some of Europe's loveliest islands.

If you're planning to travel to Greece, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

After a winter of lockdown, Greece is starting to reopen to some tourists without the need for quarantine, even though some restrictions remain in place.

What's on offer

Ancient monuments, myriad islands, spectacular beaches and vast mountains. Greece attracts millions of visitors each year looking for a sunny seaside escape, or a history-focused trip exploring its long and storied past.

Its popular resorts are perfect for partying during the summer, but there's plenty of space to get away from the crowds, and outside of summer season you'll often find yourself the only tourist around.

Who can go

All foreign tourists can now visit Greece without the need for quarantine on arrival, provided they have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel or proof they've been fully vaccinated. This also applies to visitors from Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

Officials says targeted rapid checks will be carried out at entry points and quarantine hotels are ready to accommodate those who test positive during this process.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals must provide a negative test result or proof of full vaccination.

Negative tests must have been taken within 72 hours of departure, must be written in English and include the name and passport number of the person traveling. This does not apply to children under 10. For full details of the laboratories accepted, see here.

All travelers must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to departure. This includes details of where the individual has been and the address they plan to stay at in Greece. Each PLF includes a unique QR code which must be scanned upon arrival at the Greek border.

The QR code will tell you whether you need to have an additional test done at the airport. If you do, you must self-isolate until you have the results -- around 24 hours.

What's the Covid situation?

Greece has weathered the Covid storm better than many countries in Europe, but surges have still resulted in nationwide lockdown measures. The country has seen more than 371,712 Covid cases and a total of 11,266 deaths as of May 14. Full vaccinations currently stand at close to 1,412,273 -- or 13.8% of the population.

What can visitors expect?

Cafes, bars and restaurants are now across Greece, provided they can accommodate customers in open seating areas. That means there's now a chance of sipping a Mythos beer and scarfing down some souvlaki while watching the sun set over the sparkling Aegean.

A nationwide curfew has in place since last November has been pushed back to 12.30 a.m. to allow tourists to stay out later. Shops have reopened but must limit numbers.

Museums and archeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, have also reopened.

Useful links

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