New Travel Rules For Entering Greece Come Into Effect Today

If you are planning a Greek winter holiday, the country’s Health Ministry has made important changes to Greece’s entry requirements for travellers, which come into effect today Sunday, December 19, 2021.

Beginning at 6 am today, all travellers to Greece are required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a laboratory rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival in Greece.

Mina Gaga, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Health, announced in a press conference that the testing requirement will apply to all travellers 5 years old or older, regardless of vaccination status or method of entry to Greece.

Furthermore, travellers eligible to enter Greece, carrying with them proof of recovery from COVID-19, should also now be aware that the validity of their certificates has been shortened in half by the Greek authorities.

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority announced that COVID-19 recovery certificates will now be valid for entry into Greece for a shorter period of 90 days instead of 180 as it was previously.

The decision will affect travellers from 43 world countries who haven’t been vaccinated but have so far been eligible to enter with proof of having previously fallen ill, in particular those who were infected with COVID 19 between April 15 and July 15 this year.

These 43 countries are: Australia, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Israel, India, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mexico, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Oman, Qatar, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Uruguay, and the Vatican.

However, the same can enter Greece if they take a PCR test for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours before reaching Greece or a rapid test within the 48 hours before.

Please note, travel is open to all Greek islands and around the mainland. Hotels are open, operating with strict government-imposed safety protocols, as are archaeological sites & museums (with reduced capacity). 

Who Can Enter Greece Without Quarantine on Arrival?

If you belong to any of the following, you will not need to quarantine in Greece: Nationals and permanent residents of member states of the European Union & Schengen Area (including their spouses or partners with which they reside and their minor children). Additionally, permanent residents of the following countries do not need to quarantine: Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Singapore, Rwanda, Israel, the Russian Federation, Serbia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Moldova, Brunei and Kosovo.

Current Rules

Outdoor entertainment venues 

  • Restaurants, cafes, bars & clubs are operating up to a maximum of 85% capacity, serving only seated customers and 10 people per table. 
  • Open-air cinemas and live theatre and music shows (for seated guests only) are operating with reduced capacity.

Indoor entertainment venues 

  • Restaurants & cafes, nightclubs, music spaces, theatres and cinemas will require guests to show an official certificate of vaccination (14 days since full vaccination) or recovery (within the last six months and minimum of 30 days since the first positive result). Paper or digital certificates are accepted.
  • Customers must be seated to be served at bars and clubs and under-18-year-olds are required to have carried out a Covid-19 self-test for all indoor venues.
  • The following signage is also being used in indoor restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres to reassure customers of their specific Covid-19 safety levels:

    1.   Covid-free– Catering only to guests able to show an official certificate of full immunity (vaccination or recovery)
    2.   Mixed space– Also admitting unvaccinated individuals with a negative PCR or rapid test, taken within the last 72 or 48 hours respectively.
    3.   Fully vaccinated staff – Indicating that all staff have been inoculated.

Mask Wearing

You will not be required to wear a mask in uncrowded open places. However, you will need to wear a mask in congested outdoor spaces and indoor spaces including public transport, shops, taxis and public utilities, as well as private communal areas including hotels.

Please note that you may find additional, temporary measures in place in some locations, such as a restriction on movement between 1-5 am and music is forbidden in public places. It is best to check with your holiday provider before departure for details of any local or updated measures.

Full details can be found at