Can UK Residents Travel to Greece?
In July the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) officially lifted the blanket warning it had instated against all non-essential travel to 67 destinations. Greece was among those destinations which means that UK residents can visit Greece without the risk of invalidating their travel insurance. Initially these air links, such as those provided by Aegean Holidays, were expected to be reinstated from the 1st of July, 2020, however, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that UK flights would only be permitted from the 15th July. On Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 the country officially welcomed the first holidaymakers from the UK.
According to Stelios Petsas, the government spokesperson for the Greek government, “Following the advice of experts the Greek government, in cooperation with the British government, announced the resumption of flights from the UK to all airports in Greece from July 15th, 2020”. It was not only direct flights from the UK that were banned from flying to Greece, flights from countries like Sweden were also blocked from entering the country. The travel site ‘Skyscanner’ reveals lots of flights from airports all around the UK going to Greece.
What New Measures Have Been Put Into Place for Visitors to Greece?
Travellers to Greece are required to complete an online PLF (Passenger Locator Form) at least 48 hours prior to departure. The PLF form requires detailed information regarding your travel arrangements such as the mode of travel (plane, train, or ferry), transportation details such as the date of entry, flight and seat number, the duration of any stopovers in other countries, and the address you will be staying at whilst visiting Greece. After the PLF form has been submitted you will receive an email confirming the receipt of your completed form, followed by a separate email with your QR code.
When you receive your QR code, you should either have it printed or transfer it to your mobile phone. You will be asked to display your QR code to the airport authorities on arrival and some airlines may even require you to produce it before you are allowed to board the flight.
On arrival in Greece, all travellers will be required to undergo coronavirus testing. You will be directed to a designated screening area where a trained health team will administer the test. You will then be directed to the address provided on your Passenger Locator Form where you will be required to self-isolate until you receive the results of your test.
Will You be Required to be Quarantined After Returning From Greece?
It was announced that from 10th July Scottish residents will be allowed to travel to 39 different countries without going into a 14-day quarantine when they return. As explained by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, countries that had been green-rated by the UK government would be featured on the list of air bridges in Scotland.
Greece is one of the countries on the list that will not require a period of quarantine upon returning home alongside other countries like France and Belgium. However, bear in mind that there is always the possibility that rules regarding quarantining when you return home can change at any time.
Will Greece Be Going Back Into Lockdown Again?
As a spike in coronavirus cases occurred soon after the country started opening up to tourists, lockdown measures may have to be reinstated in Greece. For the first time since April 21st, the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Greece peaked on the 10th July with 60 new confirmed cases. Since reopening its tourism industry on the 1st of July, Greece has reported more than 100 new infections in 10 days attributed to foreign tourism. The Greek Prime Minister said the government knew from the start the if they gradually opened the gates of the country to the foreigners it would increase the risk of imported incidents.