Yesterday, I wrote how Greece was updating their travel requirements for entry to require everyone – regardless of vaccination status – to have a PCR test prior to entry. This was something that seemed quite hasty and now they have walked back some of those requirements which is certainly a welcome change.
Greece Issues New Entry Requirements Due to Covid
It is Greece’s country so they get to set the rules but, as a traveler, their new rules were somewhat unreasonable for a couple of reasons – the official Greek travel page that travelers have been going to for rules did not show these new requirements (and still do not), the timeline for a PCR test to be taken was going to require very expensive tests for anyone coming from the US, and the timeline when it was going into effect was this Sunday which was strange given that it was approaching 48 hours before that and no airline had this new information.
Well, they have adjusted some of these requirements and it will certainly make it much cheaper for travelers. All travelers over the age of 5 will be required to have a negative Covid test prior to travel and entry – regardless of vaccination status.
But, instead of just PCR, now rapid antigen tests will be accepted once again. These are pretty similar to the rules from before with the rapid antigen window shrinking from 48 hours before arrival to just 24 hours before arrival.
So, here are the new rules that will go into effect on December 19:
- A negative PCR test will be required for travel and this test sample must be taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Greece, or,
- A negative rapid antigen test will be required for travel and this test sample must be taken no more than 24 hours before arriving in Greece
For sure, the rapid antigen test is the cheaper option but make sure you check your travel window. Remember, the first flight on your itinerary for travel to Greece will require that test so make sure you get the test in enough time for the rapid result to arrive while still being in the 24 hour window.
But, if this is too tight, at least the PCR window was expanded. For any travelers coming from the US, it was going to be extremely expensive – around $250 per person – to get the kind of rapid PCR tests that would have allowed for 48 hours before arriving in Greece. Being extended to 72 hours is definitely a better option.
I also said yesterday that we do not know how long this will be in effect but the government spokesman said that these restrictions would apply for the “Christmas period” which could mean until after the New Year or after January 6, also a big holiday in Greece.