With travel starting to seem a bit more normal than last year and Greece open to Americans, it may feel like you can just hop on a plane and go! However, there is one essential thing you need to do before leaving for Greece and that is filling out the Greek Passenger Locator Form (PLF). Here is what you need to know.
Filling Out the Greek Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
This is important – you cannot enter Greece without having received a QR code for your completed Passenger Locator Form so make sure you do this!
What You Need to Know About the Greek Passenger Locator Form
The Greek travel government page (found here) is the place you want to start. Every traveler coming to Greece needs to fill out one of these forms, irregardless of your Covid test status/vaccination status. This is for all travelers – tourists and residents – so this definitely includes you!
The Passenger Locator Form must be filled out no later than 11:59PM on the day before arriving in Greece! This is local time in Greece, not your departure local time. Greece is currently 7 hours ahead of the Eastern US, 8 hours ahead of Central time, 9 hours ahead of Mountain time, and 10 hours ahead of Pacific time. Keep this in mind because it is very likely that you will be too late if you try to fill it out before arriving at the airport for departure.
The airline will not give you your ticket without at least confirmation of you having filled out the Passenger Locator Form – confirmation because you will not actually receive the actual PLF QR code until 12:00AM on the day of your arrival in Greece. Also, the form will not let you fill out the form if you are starting it after 11:59PM the day before your arrival.
Filling Out the Passenger Locator Form
The first step is filling out the method of transportation for your arrival. For most of you, it will be by aircraft. After that, you need to fill in the actual airline name and then the airline code and flight number (for example, Lufthansa is LH and then the flight number). This is filled in like that for the flight number. This flight information is for your arriving flight to the point of entry in Greece, not the one from the US.
Next you will select the point of entry. All allowed ports are listed in the dropdown box. If there is an internal connection, you can enter that flight info as well (if you are connecting from your arriving flight in Greece to another flight in Greece).
You need to next enter what your valid form of proof is for your Covid status. You are allowed one of the following:
- Complete vaccination status (meaning your CDC card showing your dates of doses and at least 14 days since your final dose)
- Negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival (this one is important as well since it is different from many other countries – it is before arrival, not departure. This is a tight turnaround to take the test and get the results before your departing flight from the US and it needs to be a PCR not the quicker antigen test.)
- Recovery from Covid in the past 9 months (which requires a positive test and a medical clearance that you are ok to fly)
You only need to submit one form for a family/household. Be careful when filling it out because there is a spot at the bottom to add additional family members. If you arrive at the end of the form and did not see a place to fill out for additional family members (and you need to do so), you can edit it to update it.
You will need to fill in your details including your name, passport number, phone numbers (include a number that is accessible to you in Greece in case they need to reach you) and your age and e-mail. You will also give the address of your stay in Greece as well as your permanent address and where you were pro to arriving in Greece – as in which countries.
Lastly, you will fill out your emergency contact information.
Receiving Your Passenger Locator Form
You will receive your QR code to the e-mail address listed right at/around 12:00AM on the day of your arrival. Make sure you have some kind of data connection to access that before you arrive at the counters in Greece! If you are connecting in Europe, you will need to have the actual QR code to show them there so you can try using the airport WiFi.
The e-mail you will receive is from the Hellenic Republic – travel.gov.gr and has a subject of “Important: your PLF document for your upcoming trip to Greece.
That’s it! Remember, it is one per family/household so you will receive just the one for your whole family.
When you arrive in Greece, you will enter a queue to something that may resemble a passport windowed entrance area. There, the officials will examine your PLF and covid-19 paperwork.
Greece first introduced the Passenger Locator Form last year to help identify which passengers presented a higher level of risk. I have entered Greece 4 times since last June and had to use the form each time. Three times, I was pulled aside for another Covid test right then but this most recent time, I was allowed to just pass on as the rate in the US has come down lately.
For any of you who are citizens or residents and you plan on leaving Greece, you also need to fill out the same PLF to depart FROM Greece but tourists are not required to do this, only citizens and residents.
Hey, filling out the Greek Passenger Locator Form is an extra step but it is part of what has allowed Greece to open to Americans and others so not really that big of a deal! Just make sure you do it as you will not be allowed to enter Greece without it.