Gatwick Airport: Greece travel rules confusion after U-turn

Gatwick Airport: Greece travel rules confusion after U-turn


British travelers have been left baffled after several U-turns on travel rules to a popular European destination. More than three million visits to Greece by British nationals take place every year but travel restrictions have made it more difficult in recent times.

Those hoping to enjoy a getaway from Gatwick Airport to Greece were given hope in early April. The Greek health minister announced plans to begin lifting restrictions from Sunday, May 1.

But less than a week ahead of the planned removal of rules put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including entry requirements such as negative test results or vaccine certificates, the Greek government appeared to have changed tack. By Monday, April 25, no official statement from the country’s Ministry of Health had been released.

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But in a statement on Thursday, April 28, the Greek Ministry of Health broke its silence. A spokesperson said “the Committee of Experts of the Ministry of Health unanimously recommended” a number of measures.

Among these measures is the suspension of a Covid Pass from May 1. The changes also include:

  • Suspension of EUDCC certificate at the country’s entry gates.
  • 1 rapid test per week (out of two so far) in unvaccinated workers, with the exception of hospitals and MFIs which remain the 2 rapid tests per week for unvaccinated workers.
  • 1 rapid test (from 2 that were until now) in unvaccinated teachers and faculty members. There will be clarifications from the Ministry of Education.

Where do I have to wear a face mask while in Greece?

The new travel rules mean that travelers from Gatwick to Greece no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to visit the country. This is regardless of vaccination status.

Plenty of anti-Covid measures remain in place while in Greece. Visitors and locals alike will need to continue wearing masks indoors and in public spaces.

In some areas, including supermarkets and on public transport, there is a requirement to wear either double masks or an N95 mask. It’s unclear when these restrictions will be lifted, although the Greek government will review this at the end of the month.

But visiting tourist attractions and dining out in Greece will be easier after May 1. The new rules will see visitors to museums, shops and restaurants no longer need to show proof of vaccination for entry.

What are Greece’s travel rules until May 1?

Since March 15, travelers no longer need to complete a passenger locator form. But a number of other requirements remain in place.

British travelers who are vaccinated must either show a valid vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19. Alternatively, visitors must provide proof of a negative PCR test undertaken within 72 hours before arrival or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before arrival.

Arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival. Those who test positive on arrival in Greece will have to self-isolate with those they are traveling with for at least five days at home or in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state.

If travelers have no symptoms on day five, or their symptoms have improved, they will be allowed to end your quarantine. However, those who still have a fever will be required to continue to quarantine until their fever drops.

Travelers leaving quarantine are also legally required to wear an FFP2/N95 mask, or double masks in all public indoor and outdoor spaces. At least one of which should be surgical and the masks must be worn for at least five days after the end of their quarantine.

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