We’ve launched this page that will stay pinned to the top of the website and will include updated information about traveling to Greece. You may also follow The Pappas Post on Twitter to receive real-time information from official sources. We’ve launched the hashtags #Greece2020 #GreeceReopening to aggregate the information that we are compiling. All information posted here comes from official sources.
If you would like us to place your official announcement about the resumption of services or re-opening, please email us.
Traveling to Greece
As of March 18th, 2020, 6am Greek time, Greece suspended entry to citizens of non-EU member states until June 15th, 2020, 11 pm local time. Only on the grounds of an absolutely necessary condition related to emergency, work or family, non-EU citizens will be allowed to enter Greece.
The temporary restriction includes any entry point to Greece and by any way or any means, including air, maritime, rail and road connections.
This restriction does not apply to nationals of EU member-states and of Schengen Agreement, including their spouses or persons with whom they have entered into civil partnership, as well as their minor children.
Only the following exceptions will be made: Medical and nursing staff, researchers and professionals in the health sector, as long as they present their credentials at entry points in the country. On condition of their immediate inclusion in the National Health System management, long-term residents in EU or Schengen Agreement member-states and third-country nationals with a residence permit in EU or Schengen Agreement member-states; members of government missions; members of diplomatic or consular authorities and missions; members of international and European organizations; members of humanitarian organizations fulfilling their duties; military and security personnel; lorry drivers, who are entering to transport commodities, and essential personnel for the transport; and passengers in transit
Third-country nationals subject to the present restriction have the right to apply to the Greek consular authority in their residential area to enter Greece for professional or personal reasons.
The sea and air connections between Greece and Italy remain temporarily suspended. The air connection between Greece and Spain remains temporary suspended. Sea, air and land connections have been temporarily suspended between Greece and Albania, Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as between Greece and Turkey. Deliveries of goods are allowed to cross these borders. Greece has also banned cruise ship calls at its ports until June 15th, 2020.
Openings & Resumption of Services
The hotel chain Grecotel announced that most of its properties will re-open in early July. The company will implement safety measures to protect travelers. Grecotel owns properties throughout Greece including Mykonos Blu and beachfront resorts in the Peloponnese and elsewhere. See Grecotel’s outlined plan here.
UK-based members-only club Soho House announced an early July opening of its members-only club and hotel on the island of Mykonos. The club will extend its season to the end of October.
Mykonos club Scorpios announced a July opening.
Frequently Asked Questions (Answers as of 5/21/20)
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Q: I’m a U.S. or Canadian national flying with my U.S. or Canadian passport. When can I travel to Greece?
A: That’s still unknown. The Greek government announced that the first round of border openings will take place on June 15th but the official list of countries hasn’t been announced. Media has speculated that this list will include numerous European countries and Israel, but no official list has been released by the Greek government.
Q: I live in the UK and have a UK passport. When can I travel to Greece?
Hold on to your Union Jack. You’re not going to be tanning your pale back side in the Greek sun any time soon. The Greek Tourism Minister, in an interview with ITV News, explicitly stated that it wasn’t likely the UK would be on the first list of nations whose citizens would be allowed to travel to Greece.
Q: Didn’t they announce that Greece was opening on July 1 to all nations?
A: Yes. But that announcement also stated that effective July 1, only citizens from nations which show positive epidemiological characteristics will be permitted entry into Greece and that list would be announced at a later date. You can see the Greek Tourism Minister, Haris Theoharis’ full presentation here.
Q: But I saw that several American and Canadian airlines have announced the relaunching of flights already.
A: That’s correct but remember, airlines don’t just fly people. They make a lot of their money flying cargo. Furthermore, there are people in certain categories who are still allowed travel, regardless of restrictions including diplomats, medical personnel and others flying for various emergencies that can be verified from consular authorities. Remember, just because an airline is offering flights, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to travel. It’s best to wait for official government announcements, which will be updated here as we receive them.
Q: Is travel within Greece permitted now?
A: Travel restrictions within the country were lifted on May 18, allowing movement from one prefecture to another, except for islands. Ferryboat service to and from islands will commence on May 25. Ferry operators are running reduced schedules. Masks are required to travel via ferry within Greece. Passengers must complete a health status questionnaire and submit to a temperature check boarding the vessel for trips longer than 30 minutes. The form is available in English and Greek, and also available at all Greek ports. Click here for the English form. Click here for the Greek form.
Q: Has the list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter Greece been published?
A: We have requested an official list from the Greek Ministry of Tourism but have not received a reponse. Various media have speculated and announced certain “lists” of nations but none of these lists have been substantiated from an official government source. Skai News in Greece mentioned 19 countries during its evening broadcast of May 19. Their list included countries such as China but excluded Germany.
Skai News reported an “approved list” of the following 19 countries: Cyprus, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Another source, Capital.gr, claimed in a report that a list of 20 countries has been submitted for review by Greece’s health officials. The officials will review the list based on each country’s infection and death rates.
Unlike Skai News’ list, the list on Capital.gr does include Germany. Their list includes Germany, Cyprus, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, North Macedonia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Adding to the confusion, state-run ERT News published shorter list of countries in its evening news on May 21. This list includes countries from which flight passengers would be allowed to enter Greece during the country’s first phase of re-opening. The list included Cyprus, Israel, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Hungary and Albania.
These disparate reports were picked up and republished as factual by various news portals, including many that serve diaspora communities worldwide. The reports did not include official sources, further adding to confusion.
NOTE: The Pappas Post will only publish additional information after receiving official notifications from the Greek government. This remains our policy with such sensitive information which directly affects people’s travel plans. We emailed the press office at the Greek National Tourist Organization for clarification but have not received a response.
Q: Are Greek citizens or dual citizens residing abroad permitted to fly to Greece?
A: If you carry a valid Greek passport, you can fly to Greece any time and from anywhere. Greek passport holders were never restricted from traveling into the country. Refer to the Embassy of Greece official statement (above).
Q: I hold a U.S./Canadian (or any non-Greek) passport but have an updated Greek National Identity Card (police-issued ‘taftotita’). Can I enter Greece any time?
A: Yes. We phoned the Consulate General’s office in New York City and clarified that a Greek Identity Card is enough to enter the country as a Greek citizen and entry to Greek nationals has never been denied, regardless of which country they come from and the passport they travel with. The identity card must be valid and not expired.
Q: How do I reach the Greek consulate or Embassy in my region so I can ask a specific question?
The Hellenic Republic has an extensive network of missions throughout the world, including Embassies and Consulates, that can answer most questions pertaining to passports, residency, etc. In most cases, the directory provides an email address you can use to contact the relevant authorities to assist you with your specific questions. Click here to see the entire list of Greek missions abroad.
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