With Greece on the ‘amber’ list, is a Greek getaway on the cards?
And with tourism accounting for 20 per cent of GDP and providing one in five jobs, it’s unsurprising that the European country was at the forefront of campaigns to let international tourism resume this summer.
So, is a Greek getaway likely this autumn? Here’s everything you need to know.
Can British holidaymakers travel to Greece?
Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis confirmed that the country would open to tourism on 14 May, with security protocols and testing in place.
Quarantine regulations are now lifted for fully vaccinated travellers and those who have tested negative for Covid.
What does travelling to Greece entail?
Holidaymakers travelling to Greece are expected to provide either proof of full vaccination completed at least 14 days before travel, a negative PCR Covid test taken within 72 hours of their arrival, or a negative rapid antigen test taken within the 48 hours before a scheduled flight, to be allowed into the country.
Greece will also accept proof of recovery from Covid-19 for entry, including evidence of a positive Covid-19 PCR test result taken between 30 to 180 days prior to your trip.
Anyone travelling to Greece must comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements, including completion of a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before you travel (both into and out of Greece).
Prior to departure from Greece for the UK, travellers must present a negative lateral flow or PCR test.
Upon arrival to the UK from an amber list country, unvaccinated adult travellers must self-isolate at home for 10 days, plus pay to take two PCR tests: one on day two and one on day eight.
However, those who’ve been fully vaccinated in the UK, US or EU, plus accompanying under 18s, can swerve quarantine when returning from “amber list” destinations.
The move allows fully vaccinated travellers to holiday across key European destinations, in a boost to the travel industry.
Will I need to have been vaccinated to visit Greece?
No. A negative Covid test, or proof of recovery from Covid (see above) will also be accepted.
What rules and restrictions are currently in place in Greece?
Covid-19 restrictions throughout the Greek mainland and islands remain under constant review.
Upon arrival, some individuals may be chosen to carry out a rapid antigen test. If you test positive for Covid-19 in this test, you will have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days. The expenses of the accommodation in quarantine hotels are covered by the Greek state.
At present, you must wear a face mask in all indoor public and communal spaces, including work-places and on public transport.
The vast majority of hotels, restaurants, shops, beaches and tourist sites are open to visitors.
A partial lockdown is in force in Messinia, Achaia, Ilia and Argolis (Peloponnese), Evrytania (Central Greece), the municipality of Ikaria, and in Heraklion (Crete) until at least 16 September. Restrictions include a curfew between 1am and 6am, and a ban on playing music at entertainment venues. Check the latest local guidance and follow the advice of local authorities.
What is the current Covid-19 status in Greece?
Covid-19 infection rates spiked over the summer holiday period and have rapidly declined since the beginning of September.
Around 54 per cent of the population have received two doses of the vaccine.
On 12 July, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced mandatory vaccinations for certain workers to contain the spread of the virus.
“The country will not shut down again because of some,” he said. “It is not Greece that is in danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.”
As part of the new measures, only vaccinated customers will be allowed indoors in bars, cinemas, theatres and other closed spaces, he said.
According to the World Health Organisation, there have been 616,765 cases and 14,223 deaths reported in Greece due to Covid-19.