GREECE REOPENING TO TOURISTS
In this article we will seek to provide the most up-date-information about the situation in Greece and developments regarding tourism and international travel to the country. As the situation is likely to remain fluid, we will be regularly updating this article with the latest developments.
As of June 15, the international tourism period began in Greece, with seasonal hotels allowed to open their doors again. Restrictions on international air travel have been eased allowing tourists to land from abroad at Athens International Airport and Thessaloniki Airport.
According to the most recent update from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), all travelers from EU+ countries can fly to Greece for tourism as of June 15 (the EU+ consists of the EU plus Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland).
However, travellers from areas with relatively high incidences of COVID-19 will be subject to stricter screening procedures. This is determined largely by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) “black list” of airports located in areas of high risk of transmission of COVID -19.
Travellers arriving from EU+ airports deemed safe (i.e. those that are not on the EASA list) will only be subject to random tests on arrival. Those selected to be tested will still be free to move on immediately to their final destinations. If the test result is positive, the visitor will be notified and quarantined under supervision for 14 days.
For travelers originating from airports on the EASA affected area list, or from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands or Sweden, all will be tested upon their arrival in Greece (at least until June 30).
For this group of travelers, according to the ministry “an overnight stay either at a designated hotel or at a hotel of choice (in Athens or Thessaloniki) is required. If the test is negative, the visitor is then free to move to their final destination. If the test is positive, the visitor is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.”
As of June 15, the land border with Bulgaria is open, and visitors are subject to sample testing.
However the land borders with Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia remain closed to non-essential travel. From July 1, tourists will be allowed to cross the land border with Albania and North Macedonia, subject only to random tests. It remains to be decided whether non-essential travel by land from Turkey will also be permitted.
Currently, passenger ships from abroad are still forbidden from docking at Greek ports. Leisure yachts may dock, but with only crew members aboard. From July 1, international arrivals by sea will be allowed.
Greece remains aligned with advice from the European Commission on banning non-essential travel from non-EU+ countries. This means that, until June 30, only essential travel is permitted from all non-EU+ countries (including Albania and North Macedonia). In addition, all flights from the UK and Turkey have been banned until June 29.
The goal of the European Commission is to use this time to create “a common list of non-EU countries for which travel restrictions can be lifted as of 1 July,” by all member states. Until then, restrictions will remain in place for non-EU+ citizens traveling to the bloc.
After July 1, tourism from some non-EU+ countries with low levels of spread of COVID -19 will likely be permitted, with travelers likely subject to random tests (see above).
For other third countries which continue to have high levels of spread of COVID-19, restrictions will likely remain in place.