One of the more difficult things in the world of travel today is the uncertainty, especially with the more contagious omicron variant of Covid. While symptoms for many/most are either not more than a regular cold or visible at all, people can still test positive for it (even those with natural antibodies and/or vaccinated individuals) and this creates great uncertainty for travel destinations that require testing.
Greece Dropping Testing Requirement – For Vaccinated Travelers
Link: Greece Travel Page
Update on February 7: This new protocol went into place today along with more clarification. At this time (until at least February 21), only those with EU covid vaccination certificates will be able to skip the pre-trip testing. Some EU countries will generate such a pass for visitors but normally only in-country so travelers from the US with CDC cards will still need to test, at least for the next couple of weeks.
For a couple of months now, Greece has been requiring everyone – regardless of country of origination or Covid status – to test before traveling. These tests are much more difficult than for other destinations, especially people traveling from the US, since the timeline was extremely tight. Rapid antigen tests needed to be done no more than 24 hours before ARRIVING in Greece while PCR tests could not be done more than 72 hours before ARRIVING in Greece.
With PCR tests being quite a bit north of $100 in the US, that left the cheaper rapid antigen tests. But, if you were like our family, that meant you were getting tested just hours before you were supposed to take off on your trip. What happens when someone tests positive at that point (well, that will actually be another post altogether!).
As of February 7, that testing requirement will be dropped for travelers that are “fully vaccinated.” This means that you can provide an EU digital vaccination pass showing that you had received your last dose within the previous 9 months.
This obviously does not mean that you are negative since vaccinated individuals have been contracting omicron as well so that means you could be selected for a random test upon arrival in Greece (these tests take less than 5 minutes for results, if it is positive, you will be given a PCR test to confirm).