The summer travel season is winding down. This means that many Covid restrictions that had been lifted in the southern European countries that needed tourists may start bouncing back, specifically in light of the current variants. Greece has already set a date for many new restrictions to go into affect. Here is what you need to know.
New Covid Restrictions Coming in Greece
Link: Greece Rules and Restrictions for Arrivals (this is the site you will want to check for updates before your trip – also where you will fill out your PLF)
Note: Greece considers your status as being “fully vaccinated” when it has been two weeks following the last required dose.
Greece had famously said earlier in the year that they would not require vaccinations as a means of entry to the country. They have held that and still allow people to enter with either proof of having the virus and recovering in the last 6 months or holding a negative PCR test (within 72 hours of arrival) or a negative rapid antigen test (within 48 hours of arrival).
However, new restrictions are going in place on September 13 that will limit those who have not been vaccinated from many places. In addition, the government is mulling the decision of mandating mask use outside again (this was lifted back in June as the temperatures were very high).
New Restrictions Beginning September 13
So, here is what will happen, starting September 13.
- Cafes, bars, and restaurants will be limited to those who are fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery (within the previous 6 months)
- Indoor sports arenas will only be open to those who are fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery
- Indoor arts and entertainment venues (this includes museums, cinemas, theaters, and archeological sites) will only be accessible to those with a negative rapid test within the previous 48 hours or proof of a Covid-19 vaccination.
- Indoor gyms and sports facilities will only be open to those with a negative rapid test within the previous 48 hours or proof of Covid-19 vaccination
- Travel by plane, boat, bus, or train will only be allowed for those who have had a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel (self tests are accepted for children aged 5-12) unless they are fully vaccinated
The cap on the pricing for the rapid antigen tests has been lowered to just 10€ per test (quite a bit lower than tests at similar facilities in the US) as all unvaccinated employees will need to start paying for one test per week.
Normally, people would likely prefer to eat outside in Greece but since these rules will be in effect until March 31, 2022, this means that the cold weather months will be included. Obviously, outdoor seating areas will begin to be closed as the weather gets colder so September/October will be the last chance to enjoy outdoor seating.
If you are unvaccinated and entering Greece, just make sure you get your rapid antigen test at one of the many private health facilities in the cities around Greece. If you want to maximize it, you can always get a test and then use the following 48 hours for things such as archeological site visits, any in-country travel, etc. Or, just pay the 10€ for such a test every time you need to do these things.
Even though hotels are open for all, their fitness centers will be included in these rules so if you plan on working out in your hotel, make sure you have your negative test taken.