Today rings in the official reopening of Greece’s borders for international tourism, including the reopening of many businesses and services within the nation. In April, Greece opened to a longer list of countries as a ‘soft-reopening’ but has now extended the invitation to more nations for their official return of tourism.
Tourists can stay in hotels, eat at outdoor restaurants and cafes, swim at the beach, jump on a sightseeing tour bus, visit archeological ruins, and shop at boutiques. With all the latest updates, visitors can have an enjoyable vacation, even if a few restrictions still remain.
Below we’ve got all the details of what’s changed as of May 14th, what countries are allowed, what the entry restrictions and requirements are, and what tourists can expect if they visit Greece this summer.
Yes, Greece did reopen to fellow EU nations last summer in June 2020, but shortly went into a lockdown that started November 7, 2020, and hasn’t really let up since. Travel to Greece and even inter-city travel within Greece’s border has been heavily restricted for most of 2021, but this has now changed.
Last month in April, Greece reopened early for American tourists, along with travelers from the United Kingdom, Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, as a ‘test run’ for their upcoming general tourism launch that started today, May 14th. Government officials stated all countries would be allowed entry for their official May reopening date, however that doesn’t seem to be the immediate case. Today, Greece did add additional countries to the approved list but didn’t give a worldwide pass to all nations.
Countries Allowed To Travel To Greece For Tourism as of May 14, 2021
- All EU, EEA and Schengen countries
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
It is assumed that a passenger must be a citizen, resident, or long-term visa holder of one of the above nations, coming from one of the above nations. We’ve reached out to government officials and are awaiting a response.
What Has Reopened in Greece as of May 14, 2021
Visitors that are worried they won’t have a great time in Greece this summer should think again! Most businesses and services, especially for tourists, are open and ready for guests.
The SMS permission system for citizens and residents to leave the house has been discontinued, travel between regions is now allowed, and many services and businesses have reopened, including:
- Outdoor dining from 5 am to 11 pm
- Indoor dining for hotel guests
- Zoos with social distancing
- Tour buses at 85% capacity
- Public transport at 65% capacity
- Outdoor museums, archaeological sites
- Travel in between regions is allowed
- Less restrictions and longer hours for retail shops
- Cruise ship travel
- May 21: open air cinemas at 75% capacity
- May 28: live events like concerts and plays may be held in outdoor venues at 50% capacity
- May 31: Gyms and wellness spas
- Once 50% of Greek’s are vaccinated: Indoor dining, festivals, and tradeshows
The curfew has been lengthened to only cover 4.5 hours in the middle of the night, so it shouldn’t be a major inconvenience for your trip. Curfew hours are now 12:30 am to 5:00 am.
Masks Still Required in Greece
As of May 2021, wearing masks is still required in public buildings and outdoors and could come with a €300 fine for non-compliance.
Children under the age of 4 are exempt.
There are some activities where masks are not required, like exercising, sitting down to eat, swimming, etc.
What is needed for entry into Greece
All passengers will need to do the following before they can enter Greece
Fill out the Passenger Locator Form online at least 24 hours before entering Greece
All passengers will need to provide either proof of a negative PCR test, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery. The traveler has the choice. Greece has been very clear that vaccination is not a requirement for entering Greece, and if a passenger has not been vaccinated, or doesn’t want to be vaccinated, they still have options for entry.
Proof of a negative PCR test, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery
Visitors can pick 1 of the 3 options – Proof of a negative PCR test, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery
Proof of a negative test – Proof of a negative PCR test that was taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. Children under 5 are exempt.
Proof of Vaccination – Proof of vaccination card or certificate, showing the last dose (or in J&J case the single dose) was administered at least 14 days before entry. Vaccines accepted by Greek officials include: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm.
Proof of Recovery – This can be done in two ways. Either a medical certificate within 9 months that’s been issued from a doctor, health authority, or a certified lab – or – a positive PCR test issued between 2 months to 9 months.
For more information on what land and sea borders are open, what happens if a traveler is symptomatic upon arrival, and other technical things about visiting Greece in 2021, see our “Greece’s Covid-19 Entry Requirements” Guide.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com