Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 5/13/2021
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
- The Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory Level 4 for Greece advising U.S. citizens not to travel to Greece due to COVID-19.
- Greek authorities have confirmed COVID-19 within its borders. As of May 12, 2021, Greece reports 369,554 cases according to the National Public Health Organization (https://eody.gov.gr/) and the Government of Greece (covid19.gov.gr/covid19-live-analytics).
- Starting April 19, 2021, Greece will allow entry for residents of the United States, EU and Schengen states, and certain other countries. All travelers over the age of five must present a negative PCR test for entry. However, travelers who have proof they have completed COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to arrival in Greece are not required to present proof of a negative PCR test. Please review Protocols for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece for details on entry requirements and other health-related rules for travelers. Be aware transit countries may have differing requirements and timeframes for testing.
- Restrictions Gradually Relaxing: Greek officials announced that several restrictions will be relaxed as of May 14, 2021. Changes announced include:
- Restrictions on Travel Between Regions Lifted: Travel between regions in Greece will be permitted as of May 14, 2021. In continental Greece, self-tests are recommended but not required before traveling. Travelers going to Greek islands will have to present either a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of travel or a vaccination certificate showing completion of vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel. Travel may be restricted with little or no advance notice to/from areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Movement Restrictions and Use of SMS System Abolished: As of May 14, 2021, movement restrictions will be lifted and the use of the SMS system to report movements will no longer be required.
- Curfew: The nighttime curfew will be pushed back, from 12:30am to 5:00am, starting May 14, 2021.
- Museums and Retail Reopening: As of May 14, 2021, museums will be allowed to reopen. Retail stores may operate without requiring appointments, though limitations on capacity will apply to allow for social distancing.
- Restaurants Reopened: Restaurants are open for outdoor dining as of Monday, May 3, 2021.
- Greek authorities continue to enforce other restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on certain business and entertainment operations, restrictions on the size of gatherings, and capacity limitations for pubic transport and businesses. Masks are required everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Additional information is available in English at travel.gov.gr and in Greek at the Civil Protection website and the Greek government’s COVID-19 Measures website.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Greece? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- COVID-19 tests are available at many major hospitals in Greece, as well as the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (at Arrivals level between entrances 2-3). Testing is paid by the individual being tested. The cost for COVID-19 PCR tests is capped at 60 euros, and for antigen (rapid) tests at 15 euros. Patients needing COVID-19 tests or exhibiting possible symptoms may contact the COVID-19 hotline at 1135 for guidance on testing and referral for medical care. Travelers are recommended to contact testing centers in advance for appointments and not expect to be able to test and receive results the day of travel.
- Test results may be delivered by e-mail or in hard copy provided in person; consult with the testing facility regarding the method results are communicated for your specific circumstance.
- For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to the COVID-19 testing requirement for U.S. entry, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html. If you review the information at the preceding link and believe you qualify for a humanitarian exemption despite widespread availability of testing in Greece, use the contact information at the bottom of this page to make your request.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Greece approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
- Are vaccines available in Greece for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes
- Which vaccines are available in Greece? Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson / Janssen vaccines have been approved for use in Greece The Greek government determines which vaccine is administered for specific populations.
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- The Greek Ministry of Health has developed a priority system for COVID-19 vaccination and system for appointments, available on the Greek government webpage at https://emvolio.gov.gr/en. The current phase of vaccination is for individuals age 30 and above and individuals with certain high-risk health conditions, according to announcements by the National Public Health Organization.
- The Greek government has been resolving COVID-19 vaccination obstacles for people residing in Greece that do not have AMKA (Greek public health care coverage). The Greek government is now issuing temporary AMKA numbers in order to facilitate vaccination. Individuals without AMKA who believe they qualify for the current phase of vaccination in Greece may enter their personal data at https://emvolio.gov.gr/en/pamka to request a temporary AMKA number needed to obtain a vaccination appointment. There may be a delay between issuance of a temporary AMKA number or new actual AMKA number and when that number is recognized by the necessary Greek government systems. Greek officials have advised individuals who have received temporary AMKA numbers not yet recognized in the vaccination appointment system to try again to seek vaccination appointments after 3-4 days.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
- Greece will currently only allow EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter. Third country nationals (including U.S. citizens) can enter Greece only if they are also EU citizens/permanent residents or reside in one of the following countries: UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, U.A.E. Russia, U.S.A. and Israel. Review requirements for transit countries prior to travel as well.
- If you need clarification on whether you may enter Greece, contact the closest Greek Embassy or consulate, as well as your airline prior to travel. The U.S. Embassy in Athens cannot give you permission to enter Greece or request exceptions to Greece or EU travel restrictions.
- All travelers who are eligible to enter Greece must complete the online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 48 hours before entering Greece. See the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs post on procedures for international arrivals. Travelers with connecting flights to Greece report overnight delays for failing to fill out the PLF prior to travel.
- All Greek citizens and permanent residents must now submit a PLF prior to departure from Greece as well.
- Once you start filling out the PLF form, you are given the option to select arrival or departure. For any questions regarding this form, the Greek Government has instituted a PLF Hot Line at +30-215-560-5151, available Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm in English and Greek.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, in most cases
- All travelers entering Greece are required to present a negative molecular test result (PCR test) for COVID-19, performed up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who are residents of the U.S., EU, and certain other countries may enter Greece without a PCR test if they present a vaccination certificate. The vaccination certificate must be in English, issued by a public authority, and demonstrate that vaccination was completed at least 14 days before arrival to Greece. However, PCR or other types of COVID-19 tests may still be required by transit countries.
- Refer to travel.gov.gr for detailed information on PCR test requirements for entry to Greece and vaccination certificate requirements.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- All visitors from air, land or sea, will be subject to random tests upon arrival. Upon being tested, travelers move to their final destination. In the event of a positive result, they will be contacted and placed on 14-day quarantine, with expenses covered by the Greek state.
- As of May 14, 2021, all passengers traveling within Greece by air or ferry to the Greek islands will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or a vaccination certificate showing complete vaccination at least 14 days before travel.
- Ferry operators and airlines require travelers to complete a health status questionnaire, submit to a temperature check, and wear a mask. The health form is available here in English and Greek, and provided by transportation operator on site.
- For information on requesting extension of 90 day visa free travel or obtaining residence permits for U.S. citizens in Greece, please see the corresponding pages on this website.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes
- A nationwide lockdown is in effect 24 hours per day, until May 14, 2021. A nighttime curfew is additionally in effect from 11:00pm to 5:00am throughout the country. Starting May 14, 2021, the curfew will be pushed to 12:30am to 5:00am.
- In general, travel outside the home should be avoided, but is permitted for work and for the following reasons between the hours of 5:00am and 11:00pm:
- For health reasons;
- To buy essential supplies if delivery is not possible in time, limited to the municipality of residence or up to 2km from your home;
- Essential banking or urgent appointments for public services (e.g., electricity), within your municipality or 2km from your home;
- To help people in need. Transfer to/from workplace of a spouse or first-degree relative. Transfer of a minor to/from school (with a certificate from the school);
- Attending a ceremony (e.g., funeral). Travel to exercise visitation rights;
- Movements near one’s residence for physical exercise, or care of pets or strays, done on foot or bicycle only. Cars or other transport may not be used to travel to other areas for exercise, except on weekends starting April 3, 2021.
- If you must travel outside the home for one of the first six reasons listed above, you must send an SMS message to the number 13033 prior to going outside. The message should include the number of the reason for the movements (1-6, as above).
- Movements are also permitted for customers of retail stores with appointments for click-away or click-and-shop, by sending an SMS to the new five-digit number 13032 dedicated for retail shopping movement requests. Movement for retail shopping is restricted to once a day for up to three hours.
- Movements for work are permitted with a certificate issued by the employer (no SMS needed).
- The nighttime curfew between 11:00pm and 5:00am restricts movements only to work (with certificate), health (SMS Option 1), and walking a pet close to home (SMS Option 6).
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
- Until May 14, 2021, travel between other regions in Greece is allowed only for health reasons, business, family reunification, or to return to one’s place of permanent residence and requires declaration as described at forma.gov.gr/en. International flights to/from Athens are expected to continue and U.S. citizens wishing to return to the United States will be able to do so. Travel may be restricted further with little or no advance notice to/from areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
- Beginning April 19, residents of the United States, EU and Schengen states, the UK, UAE, Serbia, and Israel are exempted from quarantine restrictions if they present: 1. A negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival, or 2. A certificate of vaccination, in English, issued by a public authority, provided that the vaccination was completed at least 14 days before arrival to Greece.
- All passengers arriving from countries other than those listed above are subject to a mandatory seven-day preventive quarantine. Travelers are advised to check with Greek authorities regarding any quarantine restrictions in effect at the time of entry into Greece.
- On April 19, 2021, the Greek government posted procedures for international arrivals. See the airport website for additional details. All travelers may be subject to random COVID-19 tests upon arrival. If you are tested for COVID-19, you are permitted to travel to your final destination where you must self quarantine for 24 hours (or longer as described above). If positive, you will be notified and quarantined for 14 days. If negative, you will not be notified.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- The Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos is open and operational; however, there are no direct flights between the United States and Greece at this time. Many airlines currently operate flights departing Greece from which travelers can connect to flights to the United States.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Masks are required while using public transportation and taxis. Taxis are limited to two passengers, except for minor children.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- The fine for not wearing a mask in areas where it is required, not maintaining required social distancing, and/or violating the movement restrictions is 300 euros. The fine for non-compliance with mandatory quarantine is 5000 euros, in addition to possible arrest.
- The U.S. Embassy in Athens is handling routine U.S. citizen services, including passport processing, reports of birth abroad, notary actions, voting assistance, and federal benefits assistance. U.S. citizens should see the corresponding pages on this website to make appointments for these services. We will continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.
- Embassy Athens is currently processing limited categories of non-immigrant visa and immigrant visa applications. At this time, we are prioritizing services for citizens and residents of Greece. More information is available in the Embassy’s recent notice regarding limited visa services.
- Notarial services at the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki will reopen May 18, 2021.
- If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough, stay indoors and immediately seek medical attention by contacting the National Public Health Organization by dialing 1135.
- Robust medical care is available in major metropolitan areas; less so on islands and rural areas.
- National Public Health Organization of Greece
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- Other links:
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- Information for U.S. citizens returning from Greece
- Presidential Proclamation on Travel from Europe to the United States and FAQs
- Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Test Requirement for All Air Passengers Entering U.S.
- Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Information
- Centers for Disease Control: Information for Travelers
- Greece Country Specific Information
- What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis
- U.S. Embassy Athens, Greece
- +30 210-721-2951