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Greece Lockdown Essentially Shuts Down Tourism

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All summer long Greece enjoyed one of the best tourism rebounds in the world, all while keeping case levels comparatively low to fellow EU nations.

However, November brought a massive surge in cases, prompting Greece to enter a lockdown that was only expected to last one month.

Greece daily case numbers

credit: Worldometers

Now, the government of Greece has extended the lockdown until January 7, 2021, and has added further restrictive measures that will essentially shut down tourism for the entire country.

Greece lockdown - what it means for tourism

10-Day Quarantine For ALL Passengers, Despite Negative PCR Tests

Starting on December 18, Greece will now demand a rapid antigen test upon arrival PLUS a 10-day quarantine for all passengers, nationals and foreigners alike, despite the fact they also must bring a negative PCR test with them for entry.

In conjunction with the start of Greece’s lockdown in November, the nation started requiring that all travelers bring a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival, in order to enter the country.

Now with the additional rapid test and 10-day quarantine added to the PCR testing requirement, entry into Greece becomes extremely prohibitive.

Greece airport empty

No Inter-Regional Travel

With the extension of the lockdown until January 7, 2021, inter-regional travel will continue to be restricted. This greatly affects tourists, whether already in the country or who had a planned trip for the upcoming holidays, as well as Greek residents.


“Until January, schools will not open, catering will not open, travel from one Region to another will not be allowed. There is a normal and expected fatigue of the world. But this is what the experts tell us and this is what we must do.”

greece oceanview from stairs at resort

Closures Extended

Many non-essential shops, services, and even restaurants will now be shut until at least January 7, 2021. With no ability to dine-in at restaurants or cafes, or visit tourist attractions, a holiday in Greece would virtually be unfeasible.

Schools, gyms, cinemas, bars, and more services will remain closed. In a televised interview, PM Mitsotakis explained that the government still has to make decisions on whether retail will be open, with their decision to soon follow.

Greek PM mitsotakis

Stay Home Order

The stay home order has also been extended, which only allows persons to leave their house/hotel for essential reasons, like visiting a doctor, getting groceries or supplies, and physical outdoor exercise.

Tourists and residents in Greece must send an SMS to 13033 and select their corresponding essential activity before leaving their hotel property or home. Greece has been actively policing the SMS ‘permission slip’ and has handed out almost 800,000 euros in fines for non-compliance.

Greece lockdown

Previous to the new entry rules, most of the EU nations plus a handful of third-party countries have been able to enter Greece with no restrictions since June. 

Now all passengers from approved countries will have to obtain their pre-entry PCR test, get tested again upon arrival, plus complete a 10-day quarantine.

While in Greece they will be prohibited from leaving their residence for non-essential reasons, will not be able to visit restaurants, and will have no entertainment or tourist attraction opportunities.

They will also not be able to travel from one area of Greece to another and are subject to a nightly curfew.

Santorini sunset over the village of Oia in Greece

With the litany of restrictions, it’s safe to say that Greece has now closed for tourism until at least January 7, 2021.

Read More: See which countries are allowing tourism with no quarantines/tests, what companies offer travel insurance that covers covid, and the Top 10 places to travel during the pandemic

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Tuesday 8th of December 2020


Until January, travel from one Region to another will not be allowed.

So how do we go from Athens airport to a no high risk area or back again to the airport? 

Is that possible? We come from Athens Airport and go straight into a car driving to a no high risk area and straight to destination where we go in quarantine for 10-14 days. Then we go back straight to Athens airport and jump on a plane that same day that brings us to Munich Germany (or The Netherlands)


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Starting on December 18, Greece will now demand a rapid antigen test upon arrival PLUS a 10-day quarantine for all passengers, nationals and foreigners alike, despite the fact they also must bring a negative PCR test with them for entry.

So how about when arrival is at Dec 19 at Athens airport and the next day leaving Greece again is that allowed?


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Hope the Greeks protest and throw out their worthless government.