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New Health Protocols for Traveling to Greece

New Health Protocols for Traveling to Greece

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Announcement regarding arrivals from foreign countries to Greece.

As of November 11, 2020 all people traveling to Greece from foreign countries will be required to have a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. This includes air and land arrivals to Greece.

Further, people traveling to Greece should be aware that as of November 6, 2020 Greece is in lockdown. More information about eligible ways and means of transport and movement permits within Greece is available on forma.gov.gr.

This does also apply to Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece and travelers for essential professional reasons.

Travellers should be laboratory tested with RT-PCR of oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab.

Only travellers who carry a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test result will be allowed by the border authorities to enter the country. The certificates should be written in English and bear the name and passport/national ID number of the traveller.

The Laboratories that perform the RT-PCR testing should be:

  1. National Reference laboratories
  2. National Public Health Laboratories or
  3. Private laboratories which are accredited from the respective national accreditation authorities (not necessarily specifically for COVID-19).

Certificates that do not fulfill the above criteria will not be accepted. Certificate forgery is punished by Greek Law.

Children under 10 years old are not subject to the obligation to a PCR test.

All travellers will still have to complete and submit their PLF form and may be subject to random testing upon arrival to the Greek border.

As of November 10, 2020 permanent residents of Greece who travel by land or air to foreign countries are required to fill in the electronic form PLF (Passenger Locator Form) with their contact details in Greece before their departure from the country and to show at the border checkpoint the proof of completion of the electronic PLF form that is automatically sent by e-mail to each traveller electronically.

Protocol for air arrivals

  • Arrival at the entry gate.
  • Transfer to the area where the screening personnel are located. Travellers are requested to show their QR code either on their mobile phone screen or in print. If travel departure begins prior to the day of arrival, travellers are allowed to board after showing the confirmation email (and not necessarily the QR code which is scheduled to arrive during their trip.)
  • Depending on their QR code/confirmation, travellers are directed either to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or to the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).
  • Upon completion of the test, travellers are directed towards the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).
  • The test results are expected to become available within 24 hours. During that time, passengers who are tested are advised to practise social distancing according to local guidelines and self monitoring for symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. In case of such symptoms, medical advice and/or contact with the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operations Centre should be immediately sought. Only in case they test positive, the authorities will contact them and proceed with the health protocol in place. Otherwise, they may continue with their holidays, adhering to the general public health safety guidelines.
  • If travellers plan to have multiple stop-overs in Greece, they must declare this and report their initial destination and their travel itinerary for the next 7 days.

All travellers must comply with all of the necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and physical distancing) according to local guidance.

Protocol for sea arrivals

  • Arrival of incoming travellers on foot at the main entry gate.
  • Incoming travellers arriving in vehicles are directed to the special entry gate.
  • Transfer to the area where the screening personnel are located. Travellers are requested to show their QR code either on their mobile phone screen or in print. If travel departure begins prior to the day of arrival, travellers are allowed to board after showing the confirmation email (and not necessarily the QR code which is scheduled to arrive during their trip.)
  • Depending on their QR code/confirmation, travellers are directed either to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or to the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).
  • Upon completion of the test, travellers are directed towards the exit (to baggage claim area or passport control).
  • The test results are expected to become available within 24 hours. During that time, passengers who are tested are advised to practise social distancing according to local guidelines and self monitoring for symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. In case of such symptoms, medical advice and/or contact with the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operations Centre should be immediately sought. Only in case they test positive, the authorities will contact them and proceed with the health protocol in place. Otherwise, they may continue with their holidays, adhering to the general public health safety guidelines.
  • If travellers plan to have multiple stop-overs in Greece, they must declare this and report their initial destination and their travel itinerary for the next 7 days.

All travellers must comply with all of the necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and physical distancing) according to local guidance.

Protocol for arrivals at land borders

  • Arrival of persons at the checkpoint.
  • Passport and customs control are carried out.
  • Transfer to the area where screening personnel is located. Travellers are requested to show their QR code either on their mobile phone screen or in print.
  • Screening personnel direct travellers, depending on their QR code, either to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or to the exit. Upon completion of the screening, tested travellers are also directed towards the exit.
  • The screening results are expected to become available within 24 hours. During that time, passengers who are tested are advised to practise social distancing according to local guidelines and self monitoring for symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. In case of such symptoms, medical advice and/or contact with the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operations Centre should be immediately sought. Only in case they test positive, the authorities will contact them and proceed with the health protocol in place. Otherwise, they may continue with their holidays, adhering to the general public health safety guidelines.
  • If travellers plan to have multiple stop-overs in Greece, they must declare this and report their initial destination and their travel itinerary for the next 7 days.
  • All travellers entering Greece through any land border station, are obliged to present upon arrival a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece.
  • Travellers should be laboratory tested with RT-PCR of oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab.
  • Only travellers who carry a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test result will be allowed by the border authorities to enter the country. The certificates should be written in English and bear the name and passport/national ID number of the traveller.
  • The Laboratories that perform the RT-PCR testing should be:
    1. National Reference laboratories
    2. National Public Health Laboratories or
    3. Private laboratories which are accredited from the respective national accreditation authorities (not necessarily specifically for COVID-19).
  • Certificates that do not fulfill the above criteria will not be accepted. Certificate forgery is punished by Greek Law.
  • Travellers will still have to complete and submit their PLF form and may be subject to random testing upon arrival to the Greek border.

All travellers must comply with all of the necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and physical/social distancing) according to local guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions – Travel Q&A

Residents from EU+ countries are allowed to travel to Greece. EU+ consists of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

Residents of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay, Singapore, China*, UAE** are also allowed to travel to Greece.

*subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

** Permanent residents of the UAE may arrive only by direct flights in Greece from 9.11.2020 until the 30.11.2020. In order to enter the territory of Greece, permanent residents of UAE need to present to the air border control authorities:

  1. Proof of permanent residence in the UAE
  2. Return tickets and hotel reservations.
  3. Health Checks (PCR COVID-19 test 72h before departure)
  4. Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
  5. Travel insurance

Permanent residents of other countries are allowed to travel to Greece only for essential travel.

As of November 11, 2020 all people traveling to Greece from foreign countries will be required to have a negative molecular test result (PCR) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece. As of November 10, 2020 permanent residents of Greece who travel by air to foreign countries are required to fill in the electronic form PLF (Passenger Locator Form) with their contact details in Greece before their departure from Greece and to show at the border checkpoint the proof of completion of the electronic PLF form that is automatically sent by e-mail to each traveller electronically.

Air borders

Temporary restriction of flight connections with Turkey and Catalonia of Spain are imposed until 30.11.2020 (23.59pm).

Negative COVID -19 PCR test at least 72 hours prior to the travel is necessary for all passengers arriving by air from foreign countries. Greek citizens and holders of permanent residence in Greece and other essential travellers are not exempted from this obligation. As of November 10, 2020 permanent residents of Greece who travel by air to foreign countries are required to fill in the electronic form PLF (Passenger Locator Form) with their contact details in Greece before their departure from Greece and to show at the border checkpoint the proof of completion of the electronic PLF form that is automatically sent by e-mail to each traveller electronically.

Sea Borders

As of November 9, 2020 arrivals by sea by private yachts, cruise ships, ferry ships and any other professional tourist ships, regardless of flag or destination abroad, as well as the disembarkation of passengers from these boats in any way is prohibited.

Until 30.11.2020 there is no sea from/to connection with Turkey and Albania (with exemption of cargo ships).

Land Borders

Due to the epidemiological situation in the Balkans and Turkey all the external land Greek borders are open only to “essential travellers” until 30.11.2020 apart from Promachonas BCP in Bulgaria, which is also open to travellers mentioned in the list of countries above.

“Essential travellers” at the land borders: Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece, transport workers and travelers for essential professional reasons can enter from BCPs Kakavia, Krystallopigi, Evzoni, Nymfeas, Kipi (daily open only 07.00am-11.00am). As of Monday, August 17th at 00.01 (GMT+3) all those entering from BCPs Kakavia, Krystallopigi, Evzoni, Nymfeas and Kipi should have the PLF and QR code and additionally hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72h prior their arrival.

Those entering from Kakavia and Krystallopigi BCP should additionally self-isolate for 7 days upon their arrival in Greece. There is a daily limit of 750 entries per day in Kakavia and 300 entries per day in Krystallopigi.

In the case of Greece-Albania borders this also applies to Albanians citizens of Greek origin (Homogeny).

Employees of international land transport services, regardless of nationality, must, after entering Greece, without undue delay, either transit or head to their destination and then self-isolate for seven (7) days.

There is an exception for members of international or European organizations, regardless of nationality, who enter in order to work in Greece or transit through Greece, should they prove their function with appropriate documentation.

In the case of Greece-North Macedonia borders, there is an additional exception for EULEX staff and their family members that it is allowed to enter for medical reasons in Greek territory (BCP Evzoni).

All visitors from air, land or sea, will be subject to random tests upon arrival. Upon being tested, travellers 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.

Greece at any stage retains the right to modify any of the above in light of changing circumstances. A team within the Infectious Diseases Committee evaluates the epidemiological data on a regular basis and recommends changes to restrictions.

 

Q: Who will cover expenses in the event of a Covid-19 patient’s air transportation and hospitalization?
A: The Greek state will cover expenses related to hospitalization of visitors suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.

Q: What happens if an infection is confirmed at a hotel?
A: In the event of a confirmed infection, close contacts of the case will be transferred to a separate quarantine accommodation at the expense of the Greek state. Remaining guests will continue their holidays.

Q: If someone misses their return flight because of illness or symptoms or misses prepaid accommodation is there a refund policy or other framework that could cover expenses?
A: Greece will cover transfer to hospital and medical costs as well as stay in quarantine hotel if needed. We urge airlines travel agents and hotels to offer maximum flexibility during this time of customer and regulatory uncertainty.

Q: Health Protocols of Hotels. How is protocol compliance ensured? With whom should tourists communicate in case protocols are not followed?
A: The Ministry of Tourism has a plan of audits and we encourage all enterprises to seek third party accreditation. We have also set up a training and information website for employees and owners in order to ensure that the knowledge of the protocols is disseminated in a timely and responsible manner. Finally, we have established steep fines for those neglecting their duties. In case of complaints, visitors can call the four-digit number 1572 of the Ministry Tourism.

Last update: 9 November 2020

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