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Traveling to Greece during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

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Editor’s note: Coronavirus cases continue to be high worldwide. Health officials warn that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stop the transmission. Below is information on what you can know if you plan to travel, last updated on March 19th.

(CNN) – If you plan to do so travel in Greece, this is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Greece reopened to some tourists in the summer of 2020, but has been the subject of national closure measures since early November last year, with new strict quarantine measures for all arrivals, including national ones Greeks.

What is offered?

Ancient monuments, countless islands, spectacular beaches and vast mountains. Greece attracts millions of visitors each year looking for a sunny getaway to the sea or a trip focused on history that explores its long and historic past.

Its popular resorts are perfect for partying during the summer, but there is plenty of room to get away from the crowds and outside of the summer season you will often find the only tourist around. .

Who can go

Residents of EU + countries (the 27 member states plus Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and the United Kingdom) can enter Greece, along with travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

However, everyone has to put a quarantine on arrival. See details below.

Travel to other countries is not allowed, except for essential reasons.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis has said his country intends to open its borders this summer to all vaccinated travelers, who have antibodies or have a negative result. He told the ITB Berlin travel fair that it could ease restrictions in mid-May.

What are the restrictions?

All arrivals must be quarantined for seven days at your hotel or home.

All arrivals in Greece, including Greek citizens and permanent residents, must provide a negative test result. It must have been taken within 72 hours of departure, must be written in English and include the name and passport number of the person traveling. This does not apply to children under 10 years of age. For more information on accepted labs, see here.

Travelers from the UK should also take a quick test on arrival in Greece. Any negative test will require at least 14 days of quarantine. Arrivals from other countries may also meet these requirements.

All travelers must complete one Passenger location form (PLF) before departure. It includes information about where the individual has been and the address they plan to stay in Greece. Each PLF includes a unique QR code that must be scanned when you reach the Greek border.

The QR code will tell you if you need to do an additional test at the airport. If you do, you should isolate yourself until you get the results, about 24 hours.

What is the Covid situation?

After a strict closure that was paid for in a very low number of cases in the first wave, Greece has experienced a rapid increase in cases and deaths since late October and has been under full national closure since November 7. . The country has seen more than 230,000 Covid cases and a total of 7,297 deaths on March 10 today. Vaccinations currently stand at about 441,000, or 4.11% of the population.

Some blocking measures have been reduced, but all travel between prefectures is prohibited. Hairdressing salons will reopen nationwide by appointment only on March 22nd. Archaeological sites will also be opened.

There has been a curfew nationwide since last November, which runs from 7pm to 5am, but now starts two hours later on weekends. Non-essential stores remain closed.

What can visitors expect?

Cafes, bars and restaurants remain closed throughout Greece, meaning there is no chance of taking a Mythos while watching the sun set over the sprawling Aegean.

Masks are mandatory in public, both indoors and outdoors.

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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Barry Neild contributed to this report

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