Post updated on 2nd September 2021
Last year was a year in which our lives changed a lot and staying safe and healthy should be a priority.
But as this is a travel blog, I think I have an obligation to update you about the situation in Greece regarding coronavirus and what measures Greece has taken regarding tourism even if traveling might not be a priority for now.
I am going to update this post as often as possible and I am also going to answer your questions, so feel free to ask me in the comments and I will add the information to the post.
I will try to use official information and I will put sources as this is a very important subject.
In this post, you will find
- What is the situation right now with the coronavirus cases?
- What are the local restrictions now?
- What do you need to know before travelling to Greece?
- Are going to be covid free islands and if yes, which ones will be?
- What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?
What happened till today in Greece because of the coronavirus pandemic?
As of 2nd September 2021, Greece reports 593.668 cases and 13.777 deaths. More information about the daily statistic you can find on the Worldometer website here.
On 02/09/2021, 2.840 new coronavirus cases were announced and 34 new deaths.
What are the restrictions inside Greece because of Coronavirus?
The Greek authorities have implemented tough measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
At present, it is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public places, in all areas of Greece.
All restrictions remain under regular review. In Regional Units (περιφερειακές ενότητες) where the spread of COVID-19 is particularly high and hospital capacity is limited, restrictions may be tighter or re-imposed with limited notice.
Only the most relevant measures to travellers are included below. You should keep up-to-date by checking this page regularly, and following local announcements.
As restrictions may vary, you should check the latest local guidance.
- you must use a facemask in all indoor public and communal spaces, including work-places and on public transport;
- restricted numbers are in place for churches and religious services;
- Unless all passengers are members of the same family, a maximum of 3 persons are permitted to travel in a taxi or other private vehicle with up to 7 seats, or 4 persons in a private vehicle with up to 9 seats;
- Cross-regional travel is allowed for mainland Greece and the islands of Lefkada, Evia and Salamina (use of self-tests ahead of travel is strongly recommended but is not mandatory).
Cross-regional travel to the rest of the islands is permitted but only with either:
- proof of vaccination and 14 days since second dose (see Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status), or
- a negative result from a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours prior to travel; or
- a negative result from a rapid test or self-test conducted up to 24 hours before travel; or
- a self-test declaration signed less than 24 hours before travel; or
- documentary proof of having recovered from Covid-19 (at least 2 months since infection, and no more than 9 months)
Local restrictions are reviewed regularly, and you should keep up to date with announcements from the local and national authorities.
Source: UK Government
What should I know before travelling to Greece?
Travel in Greece
Travel within Greece between Regional Units is permitted subject to adherence to public health measures as outlined above. You must wear a mask at all times on all public transport.
If you are travelling via ferry, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and hand it to the ferry operator before boarding. The necessary forms will be provided by the operator: you should contact them directly if you need further information. Temperature checks may also be carried out before boarding.
If you are travelling by internal (domestic) flights, specific measures relating to check-in, baggage allowances and other details are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. You should check with your operator directly for further detail.
Wearing a mask
At present, it is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public places, in all areas of Greece.
If you are travelling via ferry, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and hand it to the ferry operator before boarding. The necessary forms will be provided by the operator or you can fill them online. Temperature checks may also be carried out before the board
You will need to provide any of the below proofs.
- Full vaccination certificate (valid as long as 14 days have passed since full vaccination)
- Official confirmation of Covid-19 infection issued 30 days after the first positive test (valid for 180 days after the first positive test)
- Negative result of PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before departure
- Negative result of rapid test carried out up to 48 hours before departure
- Negative result of a Covid-19 self-test carried out up to 24 hours before departure, only valid for passengers 12-17 years old(the result is declared either in writing on the printed version of the self-test result declaration form or through the self-test result declaration platform for Greek citizens, as well as on the Health Statement Form)
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the negative Covid-19 test requirement for ferry travel.
All travellers must complete their health statement form before their embarkation to their ship.
The operation of ferries in Greece is under constant monitoring and reevaluation. Please contact the ferry operators if you are unsure about anything. Ferry travel measures are subject to change depending on the coronavirus situation per region.
If you are travelling via ferry, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and hand it to the ferry operator before boarding. The necessary forms will be provided by the operator or you can fill them online. Temperature checks may also be carried out before boarding.
All hotels are permitted to open, and other types of accommodation, including e.g. Airbnb, private rentals, and hostels, are also available. However, you should note that many operators are likely to reduce their offer and close some accommodation during the winter months, particularly in light of measures put in place by the Greek authorities to fight the spread of COVID-19. You should check directly with your accommodation provider in case of related concerns.
Restrictions per geographical Areas
There is a four-level preparedness map that corresponds to 4 colours (red, orange, yellow and green) based on epidemiological indicators used by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). You can see this map here and all the relevant restrictions.
Healthcare in Greece
If you think you have symptoms, including fever or respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath or a cough, you should avoid visiting local health facilities, but contact a doctor remotely to see whether a test is recommended. There is likely to be a cost associated with this, for call out, examination, and testing, which you will have to pay.
If you are staying in a hotel or resort, your accommodation provider will have a list of private doctors that they will call to assess your symptoms and conduct a COVID-19 test.
If you have arranged your own accommodation you can find details of English-speaking, private doctors on our list of healthcare providers.
If you are tested and the result is positive, the Greek authorities will ask you to quarantine until advised otherwise. You may be able to remain in your existing accommodation or be required to transfer into a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation. Costs related to transfer to alternative accommodation and treatment at state healthcare facilities will be covered by the Greek Government. The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other places of stay. Depending on local arrangements, travelers in groups may be required to stay in separate accommodation (e.g. if a sufficient number of rooms is not available in one venue, your group may be spread across different accommodation locations).
For more information, consult the Greek National Public Health Organisation (NPHO) online or via telephone (dial 1135, or 210 521 2054, from within Greece).
The PLF can also be found on the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr/#/
It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free, prior to their arrival in Greece.
Are going to be covid free islands and if yes, which ones will be?
The government plans to turn many islands into covid-free destinations and will therefore proceed with horizontal vaccinations of the islands.
The initial commitment was that at least 69 islands would be fully vaccinated by the end of April. The Secretary-General of Primary Health Care, Marios Themistokleous, had stated that “we have so many small islands and because it is so difficult to get vaccines, we decided to vaccinate entire populations at once, aiming to be able to receive tourists residents have been vaccinated and are fully protected. “
The islands that have been already vaccinated are 32 according to the Minister of Health, V. Kikilias on 12/05/2021 (Source: Protothema).
The 68 islands that their inhabitants are fully vaccinated are:
Fourni, Meganisi, Nisyros, Kimolos, Tilos (find our travel guide here!), Oinousses, Lipsi, Halki, Ammouliani, Othoni, Kalamos, Erikousa, Kastelorizo, Psara, Mathraki, Thirasia, Anafi, Sikinos, Agios Efstratios, Agathonisi, Gavdos, Thimaina, Telendos, Kastos, Pserimos, Palio Trikeri, Antikithira, Arkioi, Giali, AntiPaxos, Marathi, Folegandros, Donousa, Elafonisos, Ano Koufonisi (Check our travel guide here!), Schinoussa, Heraklion, Patmos, Ithaca, Symi (Check our travel guide here!), Skyros, Samothrace, Alonissos, Peristera, Sifnos, Kea, Paxoi, Ios, Hydra, Amorgos, Amorgos, Kythnos, Astypalaia, Kythnos, Poros, Spetses(Check our travel guide here!), Kythira, Andros, Tinos, Ikaria, Leros (check our mini travel guide here!), Karpathos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Milos.
Mr. Kikilias noted on 12/05/2021 that “The ultimate goal is the complete vaccination of the permanent residents of the islands by the end of June at the latest!”. This will be accomplished by the vaccination of all residents over 18 years of age on 19 islands, with the one dose vaccine of Johnson & Johnson.
The islands that will be vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson are:
Rhodes, Corfu, Lesvos, Chios, Zakynthos, Salamina, Kefalonia, Kos, Samos, Lefkada, Syros, Naxos(find our top things to do list here!), Santorini (find our mini travel guide here!), Lemnos, Kalymnos, Thassos, Mykonos, Paros (check our dedicated post about this beautiful island here!), and Aegina. The specific islands are strengthened with additional vaccination centers by the forces of the National Health System and mobile vaccination teams that will support the completion of vaccination.
What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?
6.079.798 Vaccinated with at least one dose (58,3%)
5.748.030 Full vaccinated (55,1%)
If you have any specific question, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.