Greece Lifts Lockdown Measures, Opens To Visitors

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Greece has been preparing for a big summer tourist season, though the country has taken an unconventional approach. The country opened to Americans as of mid-April, though at the time the country was still in full lockdown. So you could visit Greece, but it probably wouldn’t have been very fun.

Greece has finally opened to visitors from around the world, and to coincide with that the country is lifting many of its lockdown measures.

The lockdown measures that Greece is lifting

For the past several months Greek residents have needed permission to even leave their homes, so for one, the country is now allowing free movement for all.

As it impacts tourists, here’s what you can expect if you’re visiting Greece:

  • The curfew is now “only” from 12:30AM until 5AM (previously it was from 11PM until 5AM)
  • Outdoor dining is now allowed, and on top of that indoor restaurants, bars, and cafes are allowed in hotels if they only serve hotel guests
  • At dining venues, no music is allowed, and guests have to remain seated
  • Museums are open, but with capacity restrictions (they were previously closed)
  • Beaches are open
  • Shops are fully open (previously there were heavy capacity controls, and you could mostly just order things in advance and then pick them up)
  • Expect to have to wear masks in public, except when exercising or when sitting at a table dining

All-in-all these relaxed measures should allow people to have a nice vacation in Greece. Most attractions are open, and most dining in Greece in summer is outdoors anyway.

I’d say the only major thing to keep in mind is that you probably won’t be able to “party” in Greece, if that’s what you’re going for. The lack of music and requirement to stay seated at tables probably kills the appeal of Mykonos for many.

Greece has endless great outdoor dining options

Who is allowed to visit Greece?

While Greece opened to people from select countries in mid-April, the country is opening to visitors from around the world as of today (May 14). To enter, visitors need to either provide a negative coronavirus test, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery from coronavirus:

  • The coronavirus test requirement is that you need to be tested no more than 72 hours before arrival in Greece, and this test is mandatory for all travelers over the age of five
  • Alternatively you can provide proof of recovery from coronavirus within the past nine months; this can be proven through a certificate of recovery issued by a public authority or certified laboratory, or through a certificate of a positive PCR molecular test result, performed between two and nine months prior to arrival
  • You can bypass the testing or recovery requirement if you’re fully vaccinated, which is defined as having received your last recommended dose at least 14 days ago; eligible vaccines include Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson + Johnson/Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics, and Sinopharm

Greece is now open to visitors from around the world

Bottom line

I’m impressed that Greece has followed through with its timeline for opening to visitors from around the world, as the country is now officially open. Visitors just need to present a negative coronavirus test result, proof of recovery, or proof of vaccination.

Greece has also lifted most lockdown measures, though not all of them. While most attractions will be open and outdoor dining will be possible, expect (understandably) less of a party scene than in the past, with no music and people having to stay seated at restaurants.

Anyone planning on traveling to Greece this summer?

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  1. Mark

    Funny the lack of partying makes Mykonos suddenly appealing to me :)

  2. John G

    I was there this week it's actually great because there's no tourist. Restaurants are open, not much is really enforced. How many times can you say you toured the Acropolis alone ?

  3. Michael

    Yes, just booked a trip to Santorini/ Crete in July. Hoping some of the crowds and cruises stay away??

  4. Mike

    I might just have to go next week now..

  5. BookLvr

    We have been considering Greece as an alternate destination if France does not open up to U.S. citizens, or requires a lengthy quarantine.

    I would be quite interested in learning a little more about the documents required to travel. Is the thought that U.S.-based travelers would just show up at the airport with a valid passport and the CDC vaccination card?

  6. Bao

    Got my trip book for last week of June. Maybe I'll go to Mykonos now. I'm not into the partying scene.

  7. NK3

    I have tickets to go in early June, with back up reservations in Hawaii & Iceland (just wanted to keep all options open). Looks more & more likely that I will go to Greece! Personally, the current restrictions are fine. It looks like the earliest cruise will set sail in a couple weeks, with more coming back in June and July. I am hoping by going in early June, things will be mostly open, with decent weather, and without the usual crowds!

  8. richard

    For proof of vaccination, will they take the paper CDC card? Searching shows they will take a paper NHS card.

  9. mpt

    Hi Lucky,
    We are traveling next week to Greece. We arrive in Athens but have 2 separate domestic legs (Athens - Santorini, Naxos - Athens). Are there still any restrictions on domestic flights (such as previous restrictions on domestic flights for only business and family reunification) ?
    Much appreciate any response.

  10. Richard

    The official requirements are at https://travel.gov.gr/#/ but it doesn't really clarify what proof of vaccination will be accepted from US persons. It allows a vaccination certificate issued by a certified authority. Does the CDC card satisfies this? I suppose we will have to wait for Greece to clarify.

  11. Enson

    Hi Lucky,

    Do you think we can via CDG Munich or Frankfurt fly to Greece?

    Is complicated now for the Schengen policy.

  12. burritomiles

    What is being accepted as Proof of Vaccine? Does the US CDC card work? Or do we need an App?

    Also Lucky I read that Germany also dropped their testing requirement for people who are Vaxed now is this true?

  13. Daniel B.

    @burritomiles: yes Germany did. I posted the url into my comment yesterday to Lucky’s CDC post. US airlines already updates their website to that effect

  14. Ryan

    So I'm reading that Italy will allow no quarintine for DL flights from The US per the pointaguys. Is this accurate?

  15. Krivokrasov

    We actually leave for Greece tomorrow. It was a trip we booked last June and thought we'd have to cancel until Greece made their big announcement in March. My understanding is the CDC card is acceptable for entry (and for transit through Germany), and you can fly domestically if you have proof of vaccination. I can update after we arrive!

  16. Michael

    What does it mean to "stay seated"? I assume this is the no dancing on tables part? I assume it doesn't mean no bathroom breaks. I'm just confused by that rule.

  17. Burritomiles

    @Daniel B DOPE thx u!!! I'm going to Albania next week via FRA on LH so I'm super stoked I don't have to get tested before flying.

    I have my CDC card and since I got vaxxed at Kaiser here in CA I have that data in my medical records so I can show that also.

    Let's see if I can get into Greece from Albania I don't think the ferries are running to Corfu but I can maybe cross via land boarder with Albania.

  18. NK3

    @Michael I would assume "stay seated" is language to prevent a bar/club passing as a restaurant. In the US there were a lot of bars that claimed to be restaurants so they could open up at earlier phases.

  19. Daniel B.

    @Burritomiles: We are flying home (Central Europe) in a week's time, so like you, I am very very happy that we do not have to have the "within 48hr" COVID-19 test on the way there. Hopefully soon the US-mandated test will also be abolished, so we can also relax before heading back to the US.
    I am very closely following my home countries regulations, and it seems that in Central Europe (V4, C5 countries)...

    @Burritomiles: We are flying home (Central Europe) in a week's time, so like you, I am very very happy that we do not have to have the "within 48hr" COVID-19 test on the way there. Hopefully soon the US-mandated test will also be abolished, so we can also relax before heading back to the US.
    I am very closely following my home countries regulations, and it seems that in Central Europe (V4, C5 countries) are accepting each others' vaccine certificates, and one already declared that it will issue a country-specific vaccine certificate for its own citizens who received their vaccine elsewhere. So let's say a dual citizen got his vaccine in the US and has that particular EU passport, he/she would be issued the EU specific vaccine passport as well, which would open up a lot more EU countries for the traveller. So if you have dual citizenship, it is worthwhile to check with that country.

  20. Emily

    I just may since the lack of the college yuppies would be a blessing. I have generally been traveling around the world for work and leisure without significant issue since Jan since I was fully vaccinated on Jan 5th.

  21. Sara

    We have tickets for July that we purchased when fares are low. Hoping to bookend the trip in Athens and spend a couple days on a couple of islands. The lack of partying makes Mykonos definitely seem more appealing now.

  22. John G

    To those asking about entry on CDC card.... It was a little bit of a process because I went through FRA which involved me having to clear customs there. The german authorities were very confused and had to call a supervisor to come over to clear me through. It wasn't an issue- they verified I could enter Greece with the CDC card and stamped me through.

    Mind you this was right when all the changes...

    To those asking about entry on CDC card.... It was a little bit of a process because I went through FRA which involved me having to clear customs there. The german authorities were very confused and had to call a supervisor to come over to clear me through. It wasn't an issue- they verified I could enter Greece with the CDC card and stamped me through.

    Mind you this was right when all the changes happened (even the check in staff had to double check). By now, I suspect others won't have these issues.

  23. Willy

    Loud music cause Covid to transmit more so good on the Greek for this. Stay home you super spreaders and wear a mask.

  24. schar

    what good is myk without dancing on tables at nammos???
    ill wait till things are back to normal

  25. Andy

    Any idea when the US will be lifting the entry ban on (perhaps vaccinated) non-US citizens? It seems unilateral … and still arbitrary which countries are subject to the ban (e.g. Finland with virtually no cases banned, Turkey with high numbers open).

  26. AL

    Are night and day clubs open ? Can u please clarify what exactly means “ lack of music “, so no DJ at pool parties ?

    1. Ben

      @ AL -- My interpretation is that night and day clubs are closed, so there would be no DJs at pool parties.

  27. Joshua

    Ben! First time posting on your blog but I’ve been following for maybe 2 years now. I have a question..I’m thinking of Santorini next month and I’m flying from the west coast so I was going to do LAX-FRA-ATH partly because it’s open lol..my Lady friend would fly YYZ and we would meet in FRA..and carry on to the the fun lol..possible? We are a excited to meet up..I’ve been overseas numerous times before cov...

    Ben! First time posting on your blog but I’ve been following for maybe 2 years now. I have a question..I’m thinking of Santorini next month and I’m flying from the west coast so I was going to do LAX-FRA-ATH partly because it’s open lol..my Lady friend would fly YYZ and we would meet in FRA..and carry on to the the fun lol..possible? We are a excited to meet up..I’ve been overseas numerous times before cov but it’s her first. She has an Italian PP and Canadian PP I have a U.S. PP. First time to Greece and was looking up ferries/fast boats to Santorini. All the tips from anyone are much appreciated.

  28. Dan

    Lucky,
    Can one use Greece as a bouncing off point to go to other Schengen countries? Are flights from Greece still treated like domestic flights, or do people coming from Greece have to go through an international arrivals area?

  29. John G

    @Dan

    No. The airlines are the gate keepers. Once they see that US passport…

  30. Peter G

    @John G

    Nonsense. Normally it is where you have been in the last 10/14 days. So Dan, check the country but you should be fine.

  31. Experienced Traveller

    Cyprus is also open with same conditions as Greece.

  32. Krivokrasov

    Update on entry to Greece via Frankfurt on May 16. There was definitely confusion in the Frankfurt airport about whether a CDC vaccination card was permissible for transit instead of a PCR test. I had saved the announcement I had gotten from Lufthansa via email as well as my correspondence with the airport police via email, so it eventually got sorted out. When we arrived in Athens, they asked to see the PLF code (but...

    Update on entry to Greece via Frankfurt on May 16. There was definitely confusion in the Frankfurt airport about whether a CDC vaccination card was permissible for transit instead of a PCR test. I had saved the announcement I had gotten from Lufthansa via email as well as my correspondence with the airport police via email, so it eventually got sorted out. When we arrived in Athens, they asked to see the PLF code (but just glanced at it and didn't actually scan it). No issues with the CDC card there.

    1. Ben

      @ Krivokrasov -- Thanks for the data point, that's very helpful!

  33. Sam

    The 'no music' thing will end soon for Mykonos, according to locals who said it's not a permanent thing for Summer...

Featured Comments Load all 36 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Sam

The 'no music' thing will end soon for Mykonos, according to locals who said it's not a permanent thing for Summer...

Ben

@ Krivokrasov -- Thanks for the data point, that's very helpful!

Krivokrasov

Update on entry to Greece via Frankfurt on May 16. There was definitely confusion in the Frankfurt airport about whether a CDC vaccination card was permissible for transit instead of a PCR test. I had saved the announcement I had gotten from Lufthansa via email as well as my correspondence with the airport police via email, so it eventually got sorted out. When we arrived in Athens, they asked to see the PLF code (but just glanced at it and didn't actually scan it). No issues with the CDC card there.

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