Health Alert – U.S. Mission Greece, August 13, 2021
Event: FAQ on Positive COVID-19 Tests and Quarantine in Greece
The U.S. Department of State recently assessed and reissued the Travel Advisory for Greece, raising it to Level 4 – Do Not Travel. This Travel Advisory was updated based primarily on the science-based Travel Health Notice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. Embassy has received increasing inquiries from U.S. citizens regarding positive COVID-19 tests, Greek quarantine requirements, and documents required to return to the United States following a positive COVID-19 test.
The Greek Government has provided guidance and FAQs for travelers on a number of topics related to COVID-19 prevention and travel at the Travel.gov.gr and greecehealthfirst.gr websites, as well as the Visit Greece App developed by the Greek National Tourism Organization. The information provided below is drawn from those official sources, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What do I do if I test or a member of my traveling party tests positive for COVID-19?
Per the Greek National Tourism Organization, if you test positive, you must return to your place of accommodation, inform the owner of the positive COVID test, and take all necessary personal hygiene measures (quarantine) until further notice. The Greek Civil Protection authorities may move you to a designated quarantine hotel or allow you to remain in your current accommodation, depending on the circumstances. The cost of accommodation in designated quarantine hotels is covered by the Greek government. The length of quarantine is determined by Civil Protection, typically 10-14 days. This period cannot be shortened if your planned flight departs before the end of your quarantine, even if you obtain a follow up PCR test and the result is negative. If you test positive while in Greece and do not follow the guidance of the Civil Protection authorities, you risk a fine of €5,000, and possible arrest.
All visitors must abide by all COVID-19 health protocols in place by the Greek Government without exception. The Embassy cannot intervene in the mandatory isolation procedures or request an exception on your behalf. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection can be contacted directly at (+30) 213-1510100 or by email at email@example.com. If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms, seek medical attention through your hotel and/or by dialing the National Public Health Organization at 1135 or (+30) 210-5212054. Your hotel, cruise operator, and/or COVID-19 testing laboratory may also be able to assist you in confirming necessary next steps with Civil Protection and other relevant local authorities.
What do I need in order to return to the United States after completing my quarantine in Greece?
All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must have a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.” Please note that neither the Greek Civil Protection nor the U.S. Embassy can issue the letter stating you are cleared to travel. Your hotel may be able to refer you to doctor licensed in Greece, and you may find medical providers also through the U.S. Embassy’s Medical Assistance page. Check the CDC website for detailed information and Frequently Asked Questions. When in doubt, check with your airline to verify whether your documentation meets current requirements.
Further restrictive measures, including travel restrictions, may be imposed in any region with higher incidence of COVID-19 with little to no advance notice. Additional information is available in English at travel.gov.gr and GreeceHealthFirst.gr, and in Greek at the Civil Protection website and the Greek government’s COVID-19 Measures website.
Actions to Take:
- For full details, visit the COVID-19 page on our website.
- If you develop a 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.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before any international travel.
- Read the country information page for Greece.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for breaking news and adjust your plans accordingly.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
U.S. Embassy Athens
U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or +1 202-501-4444