The beautiful gem of the Mediterranean: Greece, has opened her borders to tourists during the 2021 summer season in a desperate attempt to save the country’s travel and tourism sector recover from the loss suffered due to the pandemic. Greece had a record year with 33 million visitors in 2019, and dropped to just 7 million when Coronavirus shut down the world in 2020.
Sector officials say Greece plans to restore 50 per cent of the travel activity recorded in 2019, and hopes to host about 15 million tourists. However, according to Konstantina Svinou, president of the Research Institute for Tourism, bookings across the country (in mid June) were equal to just 20 per cent of the 2019 figure, with the majority of them made for July.
At the moment, Greece permits all visitors from the European Union and the Schengen Area to enter the country without any restrictions.
Apart from EU/Schengen Area nations, Greece invites visitors from those countries that have lately recorded low Coronavirus infection rates. As a result, visitors from the countries listed below are permitted to enter Greece:
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Saudi Arabia
All visitors from Montenegro must present a vaccination certificate as well as a negative COVID-19 test result that is no more than 72 hours old at the time of arrival, according to the authorities. Arrivals from any country outside of the EU/Schengen Area, as well as any country not listed above, are not permitted to enter Greece.
Greece has also reopened its borders to visitors from the United States, who had been barred from entering for more than a year. Travelers from the United States will be subject to the same admission rules as citizens of other nations.
Everyone must fill out the Passenger Locator Form no later than the day before their arrival in Greece. The form requests extensive information about the travellers’ departure location, prior stays in other countries, and the place where they will be staying in Greece. All visitors to Greece must provide a COVID-19 test result that is negative within 72 hours of arrival. Rapid tests will be allowed 48 hours prior, as of June 27.
Travelers from the above-mentioned nations, as well as those from an EU/Schengen Area country, are permitted to enter Greece if they present one of the following accepted documents:
A Certificate verifying COVID-19 Full Vaccination: at least 14 days must have passed since the second dose of the vaccine was administered in order to be admitted. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, Sputnik V, Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm are among the vaccines approved in Greece.
The vaccination certificate is recognised as long as it is issued in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian by a public authority in each country. The traveler’s name, the type of vaccine delivered, the COVID-19 vaccine dose(s) injected, and the date of administration must all be included on the immunisation certificate.
“Entry of tourists in Greece is not subject to vaccination. Presenting a vaccination certificate greatly facilitates the procedures upon arrival. However, in no case is a vaccination or antibodies certificate considered a ‘passport’,” the Greek Government has clarified.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result is required, when entering Greece, . The test must be less than 72 hours old. Testing is not required for children under the age of six. Or, a certificate proving COVID-19 recovery within the last nine months: the certificate should be produced by a government agency or an accredited laboratory.
Travellers can also present a positive PCR test result obtained at least two months prior to arrival and no later than nine months prior to arrival. All three certificates must include crucial identity information, such as the holder’s full name, which must match the name on the passport or any other official document.
Foreigners may also present a Digital COVID-19 Passport, either in paper or electronic form, to gain entrance to the nation, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com. Travelers may be subjected to mandatory random health screening pulled from a targeted sampling system, which means they must take a quick antigen test, regardless of the certificate they possess upon arrival.
The authorities have the right to prohibit entry into the country if someone refuses to cooperate.
In addition, if the random test results are positive, travellers and their companions will be housed in quarantine hotels and subjected to additional health inspections. They must be confined for at least ten days, with Greek authorities covering the costs.