After Holiday Easing, Greece Tightens Travel Terms Again

Αssociated Press

A board shows the cancelled flights as a man walks at the empty Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport during a 24-hour strike in public sector in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 15. 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS - Greece’s often changeable second COVID-19 lockdown, which allowed travelers greater mobility for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, are stricter again through Jan. 21 as the New Democracy goes back-and-forth.

A Notice to Airmen and a joint ministerial decision published Jan. 8 said that as of that date passengers coming into Greece from abroad, including countries of the European Union, will have to self-isolate at the address listed on their passenger locator form (PLF) for at least seven days upon arrival or for the duration of their visit to Greece if it is shorter than a week.

They will also have to agree to a rapid test upon arrival at the airport of their destination if they are chosen during random selection. In the event that the test comes back positive, their self-isolation period is extended to 14 days.

For those coming from the United Kingdom, where a variant of the Coronavirus was found, raising alarm just as vaccines were rolling out, will have a rapid test upon landing and then another before being allowed to leave a seven-day quarantine.

If the second test shows they are positive the quarantine will be extended another week, the new measures coming amid worry that allowing churches to open for Epiphany Day services - which saw crowds flock there - will bring another spike.

All incoming passengers continue to have to show a negative Covid test taken up to 72 hours before their arrival, along with their PLF, which is available at reported Kathimerini.

Not everyone is allowed. Flights to and from Turkey are still banned while those to and from Albania and North Macedonia will only be conducted via Athens International Airport and not regional airports.

There is a limit of 10,000 travelers from Israel weekly at all airports and 500 Russians a week for those in Athens, Thessaloniki and Iraklio in Crete.

Non-EU citizens cannot fly directly into Greece from their country unless they are from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates or the United Kingdom.