What to expect when travelling to Greece this year post-COVID

If you are planning a trip to Greece this year, then prepare for it to be a little bit different than what you’re used to. As you can imagine, coronavirus has turned the world upside down and we all have to do things a little bit differently. Not only does the UK have their own rules in a bid to tackle the pandemic but so do other countries, Greece included.


Is Greece on the green list?

Greece is currently on the UK’s amber list, which means if you do choose to visit, then upon your arrival home, you will have to isolate for 10 days. You will also be required to get a PCR test on days two and eight. You would still be able to use the test-to-release system on day five, which would mean, should you have a negative result, then you no longer need to quarantine.

Whilst it is not illegal to visit an amber country, the Department for Transport has advised travellers that they “should not be travelling to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries for leisure,” however there aren’t any fines or penalties for those who go against the advice.

What are the entry requirements to get into Greece?

UK nationals are allowed to enter Greece so long as they are a permanent resident in the UK, Greece, another EU/EFA state, or in one of the following countries; Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation, United States, Serbia and Israel.

It is mandatory that you wear a face mask at all times whilst you are on transport be it an aeroplane, bus, train or ferry, travelling to or from Greece, as well as in airports.

What tests do you need to travel to Greece?

If you are travelling to Greece, whether that’s by air, land or sea, then you will need to show evidence that you have a negative PCR test for coronavirus, which has been done within 72 hours of your arrival. If you do not have this then the likelihood of being let in by authorities is slim to none, so don’t risk it.

So long as you have arrived from the UK and you have a negative PCR test, then you will not need to isolate when you reach Greece. If you have already had both coronavirus vaccinations, completed at least 14 days before you go on holiday, and you have proof of this, then you also will not have to self-isolate.

At Holidaysafe, we have teamed up with RightAngled who provide at-home Covid-19 tests and ensure you have your results within 24 hours of the test arriving at the lab. Simply visit their site and purchase the test with discount code ‘TIFCOVID15’ to save 15%.

Will any shops or restaurants be open at the airport?

This will be dependent on which airport you’re flying from. According to both Heathrow and Gatwick’s websites, limited shops are open and food is available for takeaway, however, given the change in rules and that we are now allowed to eat inside as of the 17th of May, this may have changed. Our advice is to keep checking the website to see if they update their information.

According to Athens International airport, various cafes and snack bars are open, however, they do not mention whether shops in the terminal will be closed or not. Each airport will have different places open, so it’s best to have a look at the website for more information.

What happens if on arrival to Greece you don’t feel well?

If you are showing mild symptoms, The Health Check Authority will carry out the preliminary health check and advises of further actions as per EODY guidelines. You’ll have evidence of your negative PCR test, however, that is not to say in this instance they wouldn’t require you to do another.

What precautions are in place at the airport?

Airports in Greece are working closely with the National Public Health Organisation (EODY) to make sure all passengers are as safe as possible. Some of the precautions in place include:

Please note these are the specific precautionary measures put in place by Athens International Airport. Refer to your airports’ website to find out what they are doing to keep passengers safe.

Do you need to wear a mask on the plane?

Masks must be worn on the plane at all times unless you have a respiratory condition or are a child under the age of six. Fortunately, you’re looking at just over 3 hours depending on which UK airport you’re flying from and to, so it shouldn’t be too bad!

What is the current Covid-19 situation in Greece?

Greece has been tackling coronavirus better than many other European countries; however, that’s not to say that nationwide lockdown measures have not been put in place throughout the past year. The country has had more than 371,712 covid-19 cases as of May 14. Full vaccinations currently stand at around 1,412,273 — or 13.8% of the population.

Are restaurants and bars open in Greece?

Cafes, bars and restaurants are now open across Greece, so long as they can accommodate customers in open seating areas. This being said, indoor restaurants, bars, and cafes are allowed in hotels but only to serve those staying in their accommodation.

Is there a curfew in Greece?

There is still a curfew in Greece however this has been pushed back to 12:30 am-5 am. Between these hours you should be in your accommodation.

Are museums open in Greece?

Museums and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, have reopened. This being said there are capacity limits, so do try and book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Can I go shopping in Greece?

Shops are fully open, however, there may be some restrictions on capacity, but that would be the decision of the shop owners.

Do I have to wear a mask at all times in Greece?

You must wear a mask in public apart from when you are dining/drinking or exercising. When you are in your hotel, rules may be a little bit more relaxed, but do expect to wear a mask whilst walking around the building. For example, you may be expected to wear a mask walking to your sunlounger but once laying down you can take it off.

Can I party in Greece?

Currently, in dining venues and bars music is not allowed and guests must remain seated at all times.

All in all, these measures are quite relaxed in comparison to other European countries. However, if you are hoping for a party kind of holiday, then Greece maybe isn’t the best option at the moment. With most attractions open as well shops, restaurants and bars, you are sure to have a relaxing and fun holiday and whilst it will differ from previous years you may have visited, you’ll still find endless things to do.

If you are booking a trip to Greece then be sure to take out travel insurance as soon as possible. With our enhanced coronavirus cover, you will have additional protection including cancellation cover if you test positive for covid-19 before you travel and cover should your airline go into administration because of the pandemic. To find out more and see the full list of covid-19 cover available, then click here.

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Information correct at the time of writing and publishing this article 20th May 2021.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.