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Greece: New NOTAM Reduces Validity of COVID-19 Recovery Certificate

December 10, 2021

ATHENS – Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority on Friday announced that certificates of recovery from Covid-19 will only be valid for three months for use on international flights, instead of the previous six. Specifically, the certificate of recovery must be issued 30 days after the first positive Covid-19 test and will be valid for travel for a period of up to 90 days after that date, instead of 180.

The NOTAM also extended existing protection measures on international flights to Greece to contain the spread of Covid-19 until 6:00 on Friday, December 17, 2021. This includes the restrictions on arrivals from nine African countries, among them South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi, designed to keep out the Omicron variant.

In particular, the new notam for flights from abroad provides the following:

Prohibitions of third-country nationals: The directive prohibits the entry into Greece of third-country nationals outside the EU and Schengen areas, including their spouses or persons with whom they have entered into a cohabitation agreement, and their minor children. It excludes passengers traveling for essential reasons and permanent residents of the following 42 countries:

Australia, North Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, New Zealand, South Korea, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Moldova, Brunei, San Marino, Andorra, Vatican, Monaco, Turkey, Kosovo, Argentina, India, Uruguay, Sultanate of Oman, Chile, Mexico, Kosovo and Chinese Taipei.

What applies regarding the PLF: All travelers to Greece, regardless of nationality, must fill in the electronic Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at the electronic address https://travel.gov.gr any time before the departure of the flight to Greece.

Entering Greece with a vaccination certificate, negative PCR / RAPID TEST, certificate of recovery or digital certificate: For travellers to Greece, the condition for entering the country is one of the following:

1) To have completed vaccination against COVID-19 at least fourteen (14) days prior to arrival and to present a vaccination certificate, in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian, which has been issued by a public authority.

2) To have tested negative in a laboratory test for COVID-19, either via a PCR test done in the last 72 hours before arrival or with a rapid lateral flow test done up to 48 hours before arrival.

3) Alternatively, travelers to Greece can present a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, which is valid from 30 until 90 days after they first test positive for Covid-19.

4) Passengers on international flights may also present, in either digital or printed form, a European digital COVID-19 certificate or one issued by third countries that includes information on the type of vaccination received, the outcome, date and type of test taken or which certifies recovery from a bout of Covid-19.

Children over 12: The same conditions for entry into Greece (vaccine or negative test or certificate of recovery or digital certificate) also apply for minors from ages 12 and above.

The use of face mask is obligatory inside the airport and during the flight, while passengers may be subjected to random testing, using lateral flow tests, based on an algorithm using the information on their PLF. If the rapid test is positive, a PCR test will be held on the sport to confirm the result.

If a passenger tests positive both times, a period of quarantine lasting 10 days for unvaccinated passengers and seven days for vaccinated passengers will be imposed. In order for quarantine to be lifted, a second PCR test must be taken and give a negative result on the last day of temporary confinement.

Passengers arriving from Argentina, India, Uruguay, Sultanate of Oman, Mexco and Chile, in particular, must all be subjected to a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the airport, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. Similarly, all passengers permanently resident in Russia must have a certified negative PCR or rapid test for Covid-19 upon arrival and must also have a test upon their arrival in Greece, regardless of vaccination status.

Passengers from the following countries, irrespective of their nationality, must be tested upon arrival if they are unvaccinated: Egypt, Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Georgia, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, India, China, Libya, Morocco, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

Passengers whose flight took off the nine southern African countries listed above are barred from entering Greece, with the exception of Greek citizens, their families and foreign nationals travelling for essential reasons that meet the following criteria:

1. Having a negative laboratory test for Covid-19 using the PCR method in the last 72 hours before arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

2. Foreign nationals whose flight began in these countries must do a rapid test for Covid-19 on arrival.

3. Travellers from these countries must obtain the permission of a Greek embassy or consulate to visit the country.

4. They must observe a 10-day quarantine in a quarantine hotel indicated by Greek authorities and be retested using a PCR method at the end of that time.

5. The passengers are no exempt frony any other condition for entering Greece that exists.

CAA also stressed that the use of a mask was mandatory in all airport areas and that airlines are responsible for checking that all passengers are carrying the necessary documents before boarding.

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