Greece Corona Virus Update January 2021
- On January 8, 2021, Greek authorities announced a seven-day mandatory quarantine for all travelers arriving through January 21, 2021 (see Quarantine Information below).
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. The Greek Ministry of Health is working on COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for people residing in Greece that do not have AMKA (Greek public health care coverage). Once finalized, the information will be uploaded on the Greek government webpage at https://emvolio.gov.gr/.
- The Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory Level 3 for Greece advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Greece due to COVID-19.
- Greek authorities have confirmed COVID-19 within its borders. As of January 7, 2021, Greece reports 142,777 cases according to the National Public Health Organization (https://eody.gov.gr/).
- Greek authorities have reimposed a lockdown through January 21, 2021 to combat the spread of COVID-19. Authorities announced 24-hour movement restrictions, mandatory three day quarantine for travelers arriving from abroad, an expanded nighttime curfew, suspension of many business and entertainment operations, prohibition of gatherings, restrictions of restaurant operations to delivery/carry-out only, and restrictions on travel between regions in Greece. Masks are required everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Additional information is provided in the “Movement Restrictions” section below and available in Greek at the Civil Protection website.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No
- Greece will currently only allow EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter. The United States is not one of those countries. U.S. citizens traveling to Greece will not be permitted to enter unless they meet one of only a few narrow exceptions detailed in the Greek Embassy’s information on entrance into the European Union/Schengen Area. There is no projected date when entry will be permitted. A long visit in a third country will not help you get around EU restrictions.
- If you do not meet the conditions or exceptions mentioned above but believe your circumstances merit entry to Greece, or if you need clarification, contact the closest Greek Embassy or consulate prior to travel. The U.S. Embassy in Athens cannot give you permission to enter Greece or request exceptions to EU travel restrictions.
- If you are in the EU on a military base, you must check the EUCOM travel policy and with your unit commander prior to official or personal travel to Greece. The Embassy’s consular section cannot authorize or confirm your ability to enter Greece. If authorized by your command to travel, you MUST complete the online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) 48 hours before entering Greece, regardless of purpose of travel.
- All travelers who are eligible to enter Greece must complete the online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 48 hours before entering Greece. See the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs post on procedures for international arrivals. Travelers with connecting flights to Greece report overnight delays for failing to fill out the PLF prior to travel.
- All Greek citizens and permanent residents must now submit a PLF prior to departure as well.
- Once you start filling out the PLF form, you are given the option to select arrival or departure. For any questions regarding this form, the Greek Government has instituted a PLF Hot Line at +30-215-560-5151, available Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm in English and Greek.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
- All travelers entering Greece are now required to present a negative molecular test result (PCR test) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. Refer to travel.gov.gr for detailed information on PCR test requirements.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- All visitors from air, land or sea, will be subject to random tests upon arrival. Upon being tested, travelers move to their final destination. In the event of a positive result, they will be contacted and placed on 14-day quarantine, with expenses covered by the Greek state.
- Ferry operators and airlines require travelers to complete a health status questionnaire, submit to a temperature check, and wear a mask. The health form is available here in English and Greek, and provided by transportation operator on site.
- For information on requesting extension of 90 day visa free travel or obtaining residence permits for U.S. citizens in Greece, please see the corresponding pages on this website.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes
- A nationwide lockdown is in effect 24 hours per day through January 21, 2021. A nighttime curfew is additionally in effect from 9:00pm to 5:00am.
- In general, travel outside the home should be avoided, but is permitted for work and for the following reasons between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm:
- For health reasons;
- To buy essential supplies if delivery is not possible in time;
- Essential banking or urgent appointments for public services (e.g., electricity);
- To help people in need. Transfer to/from workplace of a spouse or first-degree relative. Transfer of a minor to/from school (with a certificate from the school);
- Attending a ceremony (e.g., funeral). Travel to exercise visitation rights;
- Movements near one’s residence for physical exercise, or care of pets or strays
- If you must travel outside the home for one of the first six reasons listed above, you must send an SMS message to the number 13033 prior to going outside. The message should include the number of the reason for the movements (1-6, as above).
- Movements for work are permitted with a certificate issued by the employer (no SMS needed).
- The nighttime curfew between 9:00pm and 5:00am restricts movements only to work (with certificate), health (SMS Option 1), and walking a pet close to home (SMS Option 6).
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
- As of November 7, 2020, travel between other regions in Greece is allowed only for health reasons, business, family reunification, or to return to one’s place of permanent residence and requires declaration as described at forma.gov.gr/en. International flights to/from Athens are expected to continue and U.S. citizens wishing to return to the United States will be able to do so. Travel may be restricted further with little or no advance notice to/from areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, under the circumstances noted below
- US citizens residing in the United States are banned from entering Greece per details above under Entry and Exit Requirements.
- All travelers entering Greece through January 21, 2021 are subject to a mandatory seven-day preventive quarantine, as announced January 8, 2021. In addition, travelers who entered Greece from the United Kingdom must take a PCR test at the end of the quarantine period with negative results in order to be released from preventive quarantine, according to the airport website. Travelers are advised to check with Greek authorities regarding any quarantine restrictions in effect at the time of entry into Greece.
- On July 9, 2020, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted procedures for international arrivals. See the airport website for additional details. If you are tested for COVID-19, you are permitted to travel to your final destination where you must self quarantine for 24 hours (or longer as described above). If positive, you will be notified and quarantined for 14 days. If negative, you will not be notified.
- COVID-19 tests are available at many major hospitals in Greece, as well as the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (at Arrivals level between entrances 2-3). Testing is paid by the individual being tested. The cost for COVID-19 PCR tests is capped at 60 euros. Patients needing COVID-19 tests or exhibiting possible symptoms may contact the COVID-19 hotline at 1135 for guidance on testing and referral for medical care.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- The Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos is open and operational; however, there are no direct flights between the United States and Greece at this time. Many airlines currently operate flights departing Greece from which travelers can connect to flights to the United States. Flights from Turkey are currently banned.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Masks are required while using public transportation and taxis. Taxis are limited to one passenger, except for minor children.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- The fine for not wearing a mask in areas where it is required, not maintaining required social distancing, and/or violating the movement restrictions is 300 euros. The fine for non-compliance with mandatory quarantine is 5000 euros, in addition to possible arrest.
- In keeping with restrictions announced by the Greek government, appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Athens for routine U.S. citizen services are limited, including passport processing, reports of birth abroad, notary actions, voting assistance, and federal benefits assistance. U.S. citizens should see the corresponding pages on this website to make appointments for these services. We will continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.
- Embassy Athens is currently processing limited categories of non-immigrant visa and immigrant visa applications. At this time, we are prioritizing services for citizens and residents of Greece. More information is available in the Embassy’s recent notice regarding limited visa services.
- All consular services have been suspended at the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki as of November 3, 2020.
- If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough, stay indoors and immediately seek medical attention by contacting the National Public Health Organization by dialing 1135.
- Robust medical care is available in major metropolitan areas; less so on islands and rural areas.
- National Public Health Organization of Greece
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs Travel Restriction Update (June 15, 2020)
- Other links:
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- Information for U.S. citizens returning from Greece
- Presidential Proclamation on Travel from Europe to the United Statesand FAQs
- Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Information
- Centers for Disease Control: Information for Travelers
- Greece Country Specific Information
- What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis
- Presidential Proclamation Restricting Immigration for 60 Days