Greece holidays: What are the latest travel restrictions? Do Britons need to test?

Simon Calder says current UK travel rules are a ‘mess’

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UK holidaymakers from the UK have been permitted to visit Greece since it opened its borders on May 14, 2021. However, a number of coronavirus restrictions and entry rules have remained in place for tourists to follow.

Travel rules differ at the moment depending on passengers’ vaccination status.

This is true both for Britons hoping to enter Greece and for those returning to the UK from the holiday hotspot.

What are the rules for vaccinated Britons visiting Greece?

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Greece will allow Britons to enter without quarantine if they can provide official evidence of having received a full course of coronavirus vaccination.

Travellers must have had their final dose of the vaccine 14 days or more before they arrive in Greece.

The FCDO states: “Greece will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record.

“Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.”

All arrivals into Greece must also complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to their journey.

The FCDO warns that passengers who fail to complete this form in advance could be denied travel or fined €500 on arrival.

The FCDO states: “Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form.

“If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included.”

Upon completion, passengers will receive a QR code which can be presented to authorities.

These requirements are compulsory for all travellers above the age of 12.

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What are the rules for unvaccinated Britons visiting Greece?

Greece is permitting unvaccinated Britons to visit the country, however, they must provide evidence of either a negative coronavirus test or proof of having recovered from the virus.

The FCDO states that passengers can show either a COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival in Greece or a COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 48 hour period before their arrival into Greece.

Passengers hoping to show proof of recovery can do so using the NHS Covid pass.

The FCDO states: “Evidence of a positive COVID-19 PCR test result taken between 30 to 180 days of your travel dates can be used.”

Unvaccinated passengers must also complete a Passenger Locator Form before travelling, and ensure they receive their QR code in order to fly.

These requirements are compulsory for all travellers above the age of 12.

What Covid restrictions are in place in Greece?

According to the FCDO, all passengers arriving into Greece, regardless of their inoculation status, “may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival”.

The travel authority states: “If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are travelling with) will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.

“The length of time you need to self-isolate depends on your vaccination status.”

A number of coronavirus safety restrictions remain in place across Greece, though these can vary regionally.

At present, it is mandatory to wear a mask in all indoor public places, in all areas of Greece.

Partial lockdowns have been enforced in regions across Greece over the last few months, normally in line with hospital capacity rates or where the spread of COVID-19 is high.

At the time of writing, the FCDO states: “A partial lockdown is in force in most of Northern Greece, including Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki, Larissa, Kilkis, Kavala, Imathia, Pieria, Pella, Kastoria, Xanthi and Drama until at least October 8.

“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.”

Proof of vaccination is also required to enter indoor public spaces, such as restaurants and museums.

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

What are the rules for Britons returning to the UK from Greece?

Fully vaccinated Britons are able to travel the UK without having to quarantine on arrival.

As of Monday, October 4, they are no longer required to take a pre-departure Covid test.

However, they must pre-book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on day two of their return.

Unvaccinated arrivals face 10 days of self-isolation on their return to the UK.

They must also pre-book and pay for tests to be taken on days two and eight of their quarantine.

All arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, must complete a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK. This will include space for travellers to include their test reference codes.

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