Greece and its many stunning islands has always been a popular tourist destination for Brits looking to escape to the Mediterranean for sun, sea and relaxation in serene spots like Santorini, Samos and historic capital, Athens.
But the latest update to coronavirus travel restrictions and the UK’s traffic light list system for travel has meant that some of the UK’s favourite holiday hotspots have been made more difficult to travel to – with popular party destinations like Ibiza in the Balearic Islands moved onto the green list, then back onto the amber list in under a fortnight last week.
While amber list travel rules have changed to allow those who have been double-jabbed a way out of isolation if they test negative on a day two PCR test upon return, the mandated 10 day period of quarantine remains in force for those who travel to amber listed countries and have not yet been fully vaccinated.
Here’s the latest information about travelling to Greece from the UK and what the country’s Covid-19 rules mean for UK travellers.
Can I travel to Greece from the UK right now?
Currently, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) the UK advises that people from the UK only visit Greece for essential reasons.
This is due to the fact that the country is still, like many European countries, experiencing a rise in positive coronavirus cases as the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 sweeps across the continent.
But with many taking advantage of cheaper travel deals during the pandemic, many will still be eager to visit the Greece and its various islands – with its amber list status meaning that those who are double-vaccinated will not need to self-isolate upon return.
Even if you have been double-vaccinated, you will still need to complete a private PCR coronavirus test on day two of your return from Greece, however.
And those who haven’t received both jabs yet will have to comply with quarantine requirements by booking private PCR tests from their national government provider and completing two tests, on day two and eight of their 10 day period of self-isolation, when arriving back in the UK.
What are the rules for travelling to and from Greece?
Those travelling to Greece will need to have filled in a Passenger Location Form, also known as a health control form, 24 hours or no later than 11.59pm on the day before arriving in Greece.
If you do not complete this in advance or fail to present it on arrival, you could be fined up to €500 or be refused entry into the country.
It is required for all forms of transport into the country, including air, rail, ferry and road travel.
Travel to Greece from the UK also requires you to present either proof of a negative PCR test, taking less than 72 hours before arriving in Greece, a rapid lateral flow test result from an authorised laboratory taken within 48 hours of arriving or proof of being double-jabbed at least 14 days prior to travel.
Such documentation will allow you to not have to self-isolate upon arriving in Greece, but travellers should be prepared for the possibility of being asked to take a rapid lateral flow test on arrival into the country too.
If you test positive for Covid-19 on arriving in Greece, you and those you are travelling with will be required to self-isolate in a Greek quarantine hotel for a minimum of 10 days.
The FCDO also advise those looking to travel to Greece to be aware that if anyone on your flight, bus, train or ferry happens to test positive at a later point, quarantine or self-isolation requirements could be imposed on you and your travelling group also.
You can travel from mainland Greece to its islands, with cross regional travel permitted, but should consider using self-tests to prevent the spread of the virus from mainland Greece to islands with smaller populations and lower Covid-19 case numbers.
What are Greece’s rules on face masks and social distancing?
Current travel guidance states that face masks must be worn at all times when on a form of public transport travelling to Greece and indeed at airports also.
This is in accordance with the country’s current face mask rules, which require citizens to wear a face mask or covering in all indoor public places, workplaces and on all forms of public transport – including ferries.
It is also worth bearing in mind that unless all passengers are from the same family, only three people are allowed to be in a taxi or other private vehicle with up to seven seats at a time, with four allowed in vehicles with up to nine seats.
To find out more about travelling from the UK to Greece, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/coronavirus.