Greece scraps passenger locator form in time for Easter holidays

Holiday favourite has also dropped its outdoor face masks rule

Lucy Thackray
Tuesday 08 March 2022 07:41 GMT
Santorini is a Greek island favourite for spring getaways
Santorini is a Greek island favourite for spring getaways (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Greece will abolish its passenger locator form on 15 March, the country’s tourism minister has announced, meaning zero Covid-related admin for vaccinated holidaymakers.

“Following the recommendation of the Committee of Experts of the Ministry of Health, the completion of the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) by visitors from all countries for their entry into Greece is abolished from March 15, 2022,” said minister of tourism Vassilis Kikilias.

“The abolition of the PLF simplifies the entry process for travellers, shifting the emphasis to the control of vaccination certificates.”

The Foreign Office has changed its online advice to reflect the change, adding “From 15 March 2022 onwards, arrivals in Greece will no longer be required to complete a PLF.”

On Saturday, Greece also dropped its guidance for face masks to be worn in busy outdoor spaces.

Since 7 February, double vaccinated visitors have been able to enter Greece with proof of vaccination alone - no testing required.

However, as of January, the country has stamped an expiry date of 270 days on vaccine validity - meaning if your second dose of the vaccine was more than 270 days ago (about nine months), you’ll need a booster to still qualify as fully vaccinated. Travellers to Greece must have had their second vaccine dose more than 14 days ago but fewer than 180 days ago in order to use proof of vaccination alone.

Unvaccinated or partly vaccinated visitors still need to show a negative PCR test (taken within 72 hours) or antigen test (taken within 24 hours), with children under the age of five exempt from this requirement.

Passenger locator forms are a last vestige of Covid travel measures for many countries who have chosen to drop testing and quarantine, usually for vaccinated travellers only.

The UK has maintained its health form despite dropping all other Covid measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering the country.

For months, many UK travel industry bosses have been calling for an end to the form, which has been widely criticised as lengthy, confusing and a potential obstacle to the recovery of travel.

At the end of January, Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate told press: “It will take some time for consumer confidence to fully return. We urge government to remove the passenger locator form.”

In a November statement, Heathrow bosses said: “With air travel at other major European airports recovering faster, ministers should reassess testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers and the Passenger Locator Form at the next Global Travel Taskforce review, to ensure the UK is aligned with its European competitors.”

The transport secretary Grant Shapps is reportedly pushing for the UK’s Passenger Locator Form (PLF) to be axed before the Easter holidays.

However, a Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson told The Independent: “No decisions have been taken on removing the requirement for passenger locator forms.

“We continue to simplify the passenger locator forms as part of our efforts to make travel easier.

“We will keep all measures under review and will be updating on our contingency plans to fight any new variants ahead of Easter.”

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