Greece travel rules: What are the latest restrictions for holidaymakers?

Following a rollercoaster of vaccination certificates, PCR tests and strict mask rules, a holiday to Greece is now lower-maintenance than you’d think

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 06 July 2022 11:15 BST
Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Holidays to Greece are synonymous with relaxation. Perenially sunny and breezy from spring to autumn, blessed with quaint architecture and shimmering seas, this is somewhere you come to laze, eat, swim and repeat.

So the Covid-19 pandemic was a rollercoaster for Greece fans: the country imposed several waves of strict border rules, including demanding proof of vaccination and, at one point, a PCR rather than antigen test for visitors.

Greece’s government has also been one of the more cautious in lifting its Covid-related restrictions. However, with tourism a huge portion of the country’s income - it accounts for 18 per cent of its GDP, employing some 900,000 people - ministers have eventually relaxed the rules for holidaymakers.

So what do you need to do ahead of a trip to Greece, and what are the rules on the ground?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Do I need proof of vaccination or a test to visit Greece?

No, neither. The Mediterranean idyll removed all of its remaining Covid restrictions on 1 May.

Travellers will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result upon entry. The rules are the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors.

The country also suspended the use of Covid Passes (proof of vaccination), which had previously been in use to enter certain indoor venues on the ground.

However, Greece’s government has been clear that they see the removal of all Covid rules being a temporary suspension rather than a guaranteed end point to the restrictions.

The country’s health minister, Thanos Plevris, said in April that the rules would be suspended from 1 May until the end of August, with ministers reviewing the Covid situation towards the end of summer in order to make decisions going forward.

Appearing on TV in late April, Mr Plevris said: “The measures will be reviewed again in September.”

Do I need to fill in a passenger locator form for Greece?

No. Greece ended its passenger locator form on 15 March.

Very few countries now require the health tracking forms, previously a staple of pandemic-era travel.

Most European countries ended their Covid health forms during spring 2022.

The countries to retain some sort of digital form or health app include the Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea.

Do I need to wear a mask while on holiday in Greece?

A month after the end to its vaccination and testing rules, Greece suspended its nationwide mask requirement (in most settings) on 1 June.

The only scenarios in which visitors to Greece need wear a face mask is on public transport and in hospitals or other medical and healthcare facilities.

As Greece still requires people to wear masks on public transport, you will also need to wear a mask on your flight from the UK.

Has Brexit changed the rules for visiting Greece?

The rule changes that could trip you up on a visit to Greece in 2022 are more likely to be Brexit-related than Covid-related. Since the UK left the European Union, there are new rules regarding length and frequency of visits to countries in the Schengen Area (including Greece), as well as rules around passport stamps and validity.

To visit an EU country post-Brexit, your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the “date of issue”)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the “expiry date”)

There is also now a time limit on how long and how often you can visit Greece, visa free. The Foreign Office advises: “You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

“To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Greek government’s entry requirements.”

You must also have your passport stamped on arrival and on exit from the country. Make sure this takes place at passport control to avoid any confusion over how long you have been there.

You may also need to show a return or onward ticket to indicate when you are leaving Greece, and could be asked to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

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