Greece‘s tourism board has confirmed that vaccination, test or recovery certificates will continue to be required from travelers to enter the country, despite earlier widespread media reports that restrictions would be dropped next week.
Earlier this month, Greece’s Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that authorities would “proceed with the suspension of the protection measures put in place from May 1” now that COVID-19 cases had stabilized across the country.
“[We’re] not ignoring the pandemic, but we are entering a new regularity by lifting the restrictions, although we will be ready for the fall and another vaccination rollout,” he said, emphasizing that the measure was temporary and the situation would be reviewed again in September.
His comments led to widespread news reports that Greece would drop all restrictions, including those at the border.
However, the Greek tourism board confirmed to Lonely Planet that this is not the case.
“Indeed, there has been a false interpretation of the announcements made by the Health Minister last Wednesday during a press conference,” a spokesperson said.
“As of May 1, no proof of vaccination or recovery will be required to enter all indoor and outdoor venues. At the moment we speak, it will still be required to show vaccination/recovery certificate to enter the country.
Within the next period, the government will examine the possibility of lifting that restriction as well, and in this case an official announcement will be made.”
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Tourist season has already begun in Greece ©Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock
Greece traditionally beckons travelers with its piercing blue skies, ancient ruins and idyllic beaches. The country had already relaxed some of its entry requirements for vaccinated visitors just ahead of the travel season which traditionally runs from Easter through October, by ending the requirement for arrivals to fill out a passenger locator form last month.
Now it will move forward with plans to end the requirement for people to present a COVID-19 pass (vaccine or recovery certificate) to enter certain venues like bars, restaurants and museums in time for the busy summer season, though border measures remain unchanged for now.
If you’re planning on traveling to Greece, here’s what you need to know about the latest requirements.
Entry requirements for Greece
Those who hold a valid European Union digital COVID-19 certificate do not need to present proof of a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test. This includes travelers from the EU and Schengen zone as well as 33 other non-EU destinations that have joined the EU digital COVID Certificate system.
Travelers from Australia, Canada and the United States can also enter by showing one of the following: proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from the virus or a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered 72 before departure or a negative antigen test administered no more than 24 hours prior to departure.
Visitors from all other countries, including children over the age of five, need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered 72 before departure or a negative antigen test administered no more than 24 hours prior to departure.
Greece is expecting a boom in visitor numbers © Aleh Varanishcha/Getty Images
Proof of vaccination required to enter some venues until May 1
Some spaces, like enclosed eating areas, entertainment facilities (cinemas, theaters), museums, exhibition centers, fitness centers and sports venues, require proof of vaccination to enter.
This rule will be suspended on May 1.
Face masks continue to be required
Greece still requires masks indoors so tuck one in your pocket. On public transportation, you’ll need to double mask or wear a high-quality mask (such as an N95/FFP2). You can be fined for not wearing one. Taxis are limited to three people in addition to the driver unless they are carrying members of the same family.
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The post Greece’s entry rules explained as it enters the busy summer season
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