The latest ministerial decision, according to which travelers to Greece will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a laboratory rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival to Greece, which was introduced on Dec. 19, 2021, has been extended for another two weeks, until Jan. 24. The measure applies to all travelers, including those from Macedonia, MIA’s Athens correspondent reports.
In addition, this testing requirement applies to all travelers age 5 or above regardless of vaccination status or method of entry to Greece.
Other rules, which include travelers to provide mandatory vaccination certificate and fill out online the PLF (Passenger Locator Form), or if they’re travelling with only negative PCR test results to undergo additional mandatory testing at borders, remain unchanged.
The PCR test mandate to enter Greece was announced last month as part of the Greek government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and its Omicron variant, which is nevertheless already dominant in the country.
The rule was to be in force until Jan. 10, 2022, but according to the latest ministerial decision, which takes effect as of Monday morning, it is extended until Jan. 24, 2022.
All border crossings between Macedonia and Greece are open and travelers “regardless of citizenship and means of entering the country” have four options in regard to the documents they need to provide.
Their first option is to be fully vaccinated. Vaccinated travelers have to wait 14 days after being administered the second vaccine dose in order to enter Greece. The vaccination certificate must be issued either in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian by a public institution, and contain information such as: full name (as stated in passport), type of vaccine and number of doses, as well as dates when they were administered.
Alternatively, those presenting negative PCR test results need to have the test done 72 hours prior to entering Greece, whereas those presenting negative rapid test results need to have the test done 48 hours prior to entering Greece. In both cases, tests need to be done at a pre-approved private or national lab. Results must be either in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian, and also contain the passenger’s full name as stated in the passport.
Testing at the Greek border is mandatory for nationals who want to enter the country only by presenting negative PCR test results.
Besides Macedonian nationals, those from Egypt, Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Georgia, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey will also be tested at borders.
Mandatory testing does not apply to passengers who provide valid vaccination certificates or proof that they had recovered from the virus in the past six months.
In addition, passengers can also enter Greece by presenting proof that they’ve previously had COVID-19, including PCR or antibody test results, with the document issued 30 days after the first positive test results and valid up to 90 days. Tests need to be done at a pre-approved private or national labs and results must also be either in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian.
The European digital COVID-19 certificate is yet another alternative option to enter Greece.
The travel rules apply to persons over 12 years of age.
Moreover, prior to the visit, travelers must fill out online the PLF (Passenger Locator Form), available at www.travel.gov.gr. They will receive confirmation containing a QR code, which is considered a necessary document for entering the country.
All arrivals can be subject to random rapid testing when entering Greece. If they test positive, they must remain in mandatory quarantine for 5 days.
On the last day of the isolation period, passengers must undergo another PCR test.
Travelers who have had close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 can return to their country the same or following day, if they test negative twice in 24 hours and wear N95 face masks while travelling.
In case they stay in Greece, but are not vaccinated, nor have had COVID-19 in the past six months, they must stay isolated for 5 days, counting from the last time they were in contact with the infected person, and undergo another PCR test on the last day.
If they are vaccinated or have had COVID-19 recently, they won’t be put in isolation, but must undergo mandatory PCR test upon entry into Greece.
Fines for breaking the measures included in the ministerial decision stand between EUR 500 and 5,000.
The border crossings Evzoni (Bogorodica), Niki (Medzhitlija) and Dojran, between Macedonia and Greece are open for passengers 24 hours a day.
According to the decision, tourists are required during their stay to abide by measures and restrictions enforced in Greece.