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GREEK NEWS

Greece Opens to All Tourists Regardless of Nationality on June 15

Naxos, Greece – Photo Credit: Elizabeth Ioannidis

In a major change in policy, Greece announced that it will open to all tourists, regardless of nationality, beginning on June 15. Greek authorities will now focus on the departure airports and not the nationality of the travelers, as flights from the worst-hit regions will still be subject to quarantine measures.

Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis said on Sunday that the country is focusing on airport origins in allowing only flights from approved countries to land as of June 15, regardless of a passenger’s nationality.

The announcement that Greece would reopen to foreign flights as of June 15 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic restrictions was followed by a list of countries of origin, which include Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Finland.

From June 15 to 30, flights will only be allowed into Athens and Thessaloniki. Other regional and island airports will open on July 1.

Obligatory tests

As Theoharis told ANA-MPA, “Tourists originating from airports listed on EASA are obliged to be tested once they land in Greece and remain at a designated hotel for one day,” in order for the test results to be completed.

This list of the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is frequently updated, includes airports located in affected areas with high risk of transmission of the CoViD-19 infection.

“If the test turns out negative, these visitors will then be obliged to observe a 7-day quarantine. If their sample is positive, they will remain in a 14-day quarantine and their health will be monitored,” he explained.

Authorities will conduct random sample testing on passengers arriving from airports on the approved list, he noted.

“Greece is opening its doors in a planned way, safely, and following the agreement of doctors at all times,” the minister said. “We are moving within the medical framework and applying scientists’ directives to the letter, fully agreeing with international directives to protect every tourist’s and Greek citizen’s health.”

The following is from the web site of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Greece welcomes the world – Greece is ready once again to welcome the world. Here is how:

Phase 1 – Until 15 June
International flights are allowed only into Athens airport.
All visitors are tested upon arrival and are required to stay overnight at a designated hotel. If the test is negative, then the passenger self-quarantines for 7 days. If the test is positive, the passenger is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.

Phase 2 – Bridge phase- 15 June to 30 June
International flights are allowed into Athens and Thessaloniki airports.
If your travel originated from an airport not in the EASA affected area list (https://www.easa.europa.eu/SD-2020-01/Airports#group-easa-downloads), then you are only subject to random tests upon arrival.
If you originate from an airport on the EASA affected area list, then you will be tested upon arrival. An overnight stay at a designated hotel is required. If the test is negative then the passenger self-quarantines for 7 days. If the test is positive, the passenger is quarantined under supervision for 14 days.

Phase 3 – 1 July onwards
International flights are allowed into all airports in Greece.
Visitors are subject to random tests upon arrival.
Additional restrictions regarding certain countries will be announced at a later date.

In addition:
Land border arrivals from Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria will be allowed as of 15 June. Visitors will be subject to random tests upon arrival.

Arrivals by sea will be allowed as of 1 July. Visitors will be subject to random tests upon arrival.

Greece at any stage retains the right to modify any of the above in light of changing circumstances.

Frequent Questions and Answers

Q: The European Commission has recommended to member States to restrict non-essential travel from third countries until 15 June 2020. Is this applicable to Greece?
A: Yes. Non-essential travel from third countries to Greece is restricted until 15 June 2020.

Q: Until 15 June 2020, all travelers arriving in Greece undergo a compulsory Covid-19 test and a quarantine. Is this applicable to citizens of all countries?
A: Yes. All travelers, irrespective of nationality, including nationals of EU and Schengen Plus countries, are tested and quarantined. The same rules obviously apply to Greek citizens. If the test is negative, they are placed in a 7-day self-quarantine; if the test is positive, they are under monitored 14-day quarantine. The measures are for the protection of public health and are applicable to all travelers without discrimination.

Q: Are there direct commercial flights from international destination to all Greek airports?
A: Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, there have been direct international flights from many Schengen Plus airports. Until 15 June, international flights arrive only into Athens International Airport. As of 15 June, international flights resume at the Thessaloniki Airport and as of 1 July international flights resume to all Greek airports. Domestic flights have been allowed throughout.

Q: What will change on 15 June 2020?
A: 15 June inaugurates the gradual return to normalcy. Compulsory testing and quarantine will be limited only to travelers, irrespective of nationality, arriving from airports of affected areas with high risk of transmission of the Covid-19 infection, as assessed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The list is constantly updated and travelers should check before traveling (https://www.easa.europa.eu/SD-2020-01/Airports#group-easa-downloads).
All other travelers will enter restriction-free and may be subject to random tests upon arrival.

Q: What will change on 1 July 2020?
A: All travelers will be subject to random tests upon arrival. Additional restrictions regarding certain countries will be announced at a later date.

Q: Is there a difference whether travel is direct or via transit?
A: No. The same rules apply whether travel is completed directly point-to-point or via transit.

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