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Can I travel to Greece?

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Can you still travel to Greece from the UK, and what are the rules while the two countries are in lockdown? Travel may be difficult or even off limits for now, but we’ve got the latest information.

Greece is one of the most popular destinations for British tourists thanks to its gorgeous beaches, rich culture and delicious food. However, on 5 November, the UK went into lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus. Until 2 December, non-essential travel to Greece from the UK won’t be allowed, and on 7 November Greece went into lockdown, too.

Whether you need to travel to Greece for essential reasons or you’re planning ahead for a post-lockdown trip, here’s everything you need to know about for going to Greece.

During the coronavirus pandemic, things change quickly – especially with regards to travel. For the latest advice, check the UK government’s travel advice page. This article was last updated on 18 November, and was correct at the time of writing.

Can I travel to Greece right now?
Technically, yes, but only for essential reasons.

On 14 November, Greece was removed from the FCDO travel corridor list. This means that any Brits travelling to Greece must quarantine for 14 days on their arrival back in the UK. This includes the islands of Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini *santorini airport, Serifos and Tinos, but not islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos, which are exempt from the quarantine rules.

Since 5 November, England has been in lockdown and non-essential travel abroad from the UK is not allowed. This rules out holidays to Greece for now, but if you do travel to Greece for essential reasons (work, education and other legally permitted reasons), be prepared to self-isolate when you get back home.

Note that travellers living in Scotland do not need to quarantine on arrival back from Greece, but those living in the rest of the UK do. International travel from Northern Ireland is not formally banned but it is advised against.

Do I need a negative COVID test to travel to Greece?
Currently, yes.

As of 10 November, anyone entering Greece by air, land or ferry needs proof of a negative COVID test. This needs to have been undertaken within the 48 hour period before arriving into Greece by air, and within the past 72 hours if arriving by land (i.e. via road or rail) or ferry. The test is at your own expense.

What other requirements are there for entering Greece?
At least 24 hours before you go, you will need to complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF). It’s in English and doesn’t take long to fill out. If you don’t do it your airline might refuse to let you board, the Greek authorities might turn you away at the border and you could end up with a €500 fine. This applies to anyone travelling to Greece from the UK.

When you arrive, the Greek authorities will scan the QR code on your form and possibly send you for a health screening, which could include another coronavirus test.

Do I need to quarantine on arrival?
Potentially, yes.

If you are selected for health screening and given a coronavirus test, you will be asked to self-isolate at the address on your PLF form until you receive the results (which should be within 24 hours). If your test comes back negative, you will no longer need to self-isolate, but if it’s negative, you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days – perhaps at government-provided accommodation, which is funded by the Greek authorities.

Is Greece in lockdown?
At the moment, yes.

Greece – like most countries in Europe – is experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections. Cases have increased dramatically in recent weeks. As a result, a countrywide lockdown is in place from 7 November to 30 November.

This means that all shops are closed except for supermarkets and pharmacies, and tourists and residents alike can only go out for medical reasons, to exercise or to shop for essentials. You’ll also need to write a note explaining your reasons for being outside each time you go anywhere, ready to show the authorities if requested.

You can find the latest data on Greece’s coronavirus infection rate on the ECDC website.

This is subject to change. As new cases come to light, different regions may move up or down a tier. You can find the most up to date information about local lockdown restrictions on the UK government’s travel advice page.

Rules for travelling in Greece during coronavirus
There are some rules that apply throughout the country, and are similar to our rules in the UK.

Masks are required in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces such as at the bus stop and in busy squares
Masks are required on all public transport, including ferries and taxis
A maximum of three adult passengers are allowed in a private car or athens airport taxi (this doesn’t include the driver).
Pay attention to what tier the area your visiting is in, and to abide by local lockdown rules. You can find out more on the UK government travel advice page.

Which airlines are flying from the UK to Greece?
Flights between the UK and Greece restarted on 15 July, after they were suspended in March. Airlines operating flights between the UK and various Greek destinations include Aegean Airlines, British Airways, Ryanair and Wizz Air. However, cancellations are expected during the UK’s November lockdown, so invest in travel insurance.

When can I travel to Greece? FAQs
Can I travel to Greece right now?
Although some airlines are still operating flights to Greece, the country went into lockdown on 7 November, banning all non-essential trips outside of your accommodation. The UK is also under lockdown until 2 December, meaning that non-essential travel to Greece from the UK is not allowed until then. So technically, yes, you can travel to Greece right now – but only for essential reasons, like work and education, and not holidays.

Is Greece open to British travellers?
Yes, although British travellers are only allowed to travel for essential reasons. You will need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before entry and get a negative COVID test up to 48 hours before entry. You may be asked to take another COVID-19 test on arrival and quarantine in government-approved accommodation until your results come through.

Do I need to quarantine if I travel to Greece from the UK?
Yes, with the exception of the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos (Zante), Corfu and Crete. The situation is constantly changing, however. We recommend getting good travel insurance and keeping a close eye on it, just in case there are any new changes.

by skyscanner