Kalimera, Greece!

Greece has been a beacon of travel hope over the last few years, even during the toughest of times. The country regularly found ways to safely stay open despite the mosts challenging of conditions.

This year, as travel rebounds, it’s got hot destination competition not just in Europe, but everywhere globally. Sometimes, with competition, comes simplicity.

As health situations improve, and knowing how much people hate admin, Greece is dropping one of the mildly time consuming and panic inducing elements of the entry experience. For vaccinated arrivals, that means travel entry protocols will be much like those found before 2020.

If you’re heading to Greece this year, here’s what you need to know about the updated entry requirements and what’s changing from March 15th, 2022 onward.

Greece Drops Passenger Locator Forms

Passenger locator forms can be stressful, as can trying to re-download the form after landing without working phone service.

In the early days, Greece wouldn’t send the PDF needed for border checks until just after midnight on the day of your arrival, which left this traveler with a sleepless night to kick off the trip.

Now, as of March 15th, 2022, Greece has ditched the passenger locator form entirely, for all arrivals into the country. Bye-bye, excess admin!

Yep, if you’re headed to Greece, no passenger locator form will be required and that leaves a simple proof of vaccination, or negative covid-19 test to enter, and of course, a valid passport too.

Arrival Protocols For Greece

With passenger locator forms disappearing, travel to Greece will be easier than it’s been in over two years. All arrivals from March 15th will only be required to provide proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative Covid-19 test prior to arrival. These rules do not apply to passengers under the age of 5.

Greece accepts either a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or a negative supervised antigen test within 24 hours of departure for unvaccinated arrivals. There’s no obligatory post arrival testing, though the country reserves the right to randomly test arrivals. In my travel experience, that right is rarely exercised.

Exciting Times For European Travel

Greece is open and it’s looking like the biggest summer of tourism since 2019 is upon us. That bar is relatively low, but with revenge travel at play, figures for summer 2022 could rival the greatest tourism periods in the history of recorded metrics.

There’s nothing quite like the Cycladic Islands in spring, summer or autumn, and Athens remains one of the best value destinations in Europe. With recent investment in the airport experience, arriving and departing doesn’t suck nearly as much as it used to.

I’ll be in Santorini next month and am oh-so-happy to have that 30 minutes of time to fill out passenger locator forms for my family back. Of course, it should also make the arrival experience quicker, which means more time for the views — and food. And wine.

Official information on vaccine validity and other arrival protocols can be found here.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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30 Comments

  1. So excited to hear this news… heading to Santorini and Mykonos and Athens in a couple of weeks. Mr. Ott, do you have any hotel or villa recommendations for stay in Santorini, my wife prefers not to have too many steps up or down the hotel, if possible. Do you have some recommendations? Understand Greece is one of your favorite spots…. Thanks

    1. Hey Dave,

      It’s very exciting indeed. I love Santorini, particularly off season around the time you’re going. The only bad news is that steps are just generally part of the best experiences in Santorini. It’s as dramatically perched of an island as exists, so places with the best views are going to have steps. By far, my two favorite hotels on the island are Santorini Sky and the Vasilicos.

      https://santorinisky.com/
      https://www.thevasilicos.com/

      I’ve also got a 48 hour guide to local favorites and must do’s. Hope it’s helpful.

      https://www.godsavethepoints.com/santorini-first-timers-travel-guide/

  2. Could you also please verify once in Greece, what are the chances of sitting at coffee shop or entering any type of store without proof of vaccination ?
    Also taking a ferry or a plane does that require proof of vaccination?
    Thank you!

    1. I know from my own experience because I was in Greece end of February that your been vaccination is valid for 7 months if you don’t have a booster vaccination as well! That happened to me. The last two days of my trip was my vaccination not valid! The consequences are that you can’t stay in most of the hotels. You can’t enter any restaurant or shop or even sit in the area of a restaurant outside. You have to take a test every 24 hours and then you are only permitted in shops and the area outside the restaurants! So if you don’t have the third vaccination it’s almost impossible to enjoy anything even eat something!

    2. I was just in Athens. You must show vaccine status or negative test at all restaurants (even outdoors) and museums. I assume the same for ferries.

    3. You have to show you vaccination card when you go in all the stores. And some time they ask for passport to prove it’s you. It’s no problem. Everyone is very nice about it. I was in Athens for a month and now I’m in Nafplio but they still do for proof. People here are very nice and no one’s awful about the fact that you have to wear a mask not a problem although I will say the weather’s been a little chilly but I’m not leaving I’m much happier here

      1. Clown.

        Jabbed still playing the superiority card I see.

        Disgraceful.

        You won’t have unjabbed relatives in your house but want the great unwashed Ukrainians in your gaff.

        Laughable. Lol

      2. You do realise vaccinated can get and pass covid as well. Doesn’t matter if it’s ‘less likely’ they still can, so you’re statement is just vindictive. Remember everyone becomes ‘unvaccinated’ a few months after their last jab as any protection does not last long.

  3. Looking for answers to the above too. Also I understood if you were recovered from covid you this was accepted to enter Greece within a 180 day window With proof on nhs app covid passport?

  4. As a person from Greek parents it has been difficult to see my mum and son . I’m fully vaccinated with 3rd dose. If you are not vaccinated you may find problems if you want to sit in coffee shops or other areas. Although they do actually accept the results of Rapid Tests if done at microbiologist that gives you a barcode. Masks are still being worn and if you are using the disposable ones they ask for Double Masks. I don’t know about the islands as the last time I was in Kyklades Mykonos I was 21 lol . The only thing I hope is that people take care and precautions as the numbers of infections has started to rise this past week. Other than that. Enjoy the lovely Greek hospitality and see some history with the sun shining. Stay safe everyone.

  5. Great that they are ditching the PLF form, but still don’t understand the flawed logic behind the rapid and PCR test times….neither one provides protection of any kind, so why does the PCR give longer time before needing tested again makes no sense. Even if the PCR is better at catching the disease it provides no protection so no sense in it having 72hrs compared to 24 or 48 for the rapid test.

  6. Greece really needs to return back to pre-covid like the UK has. The requirements for vac certs still exist to enter a cafe/restaurant or to even buy a t-shirt ffs. This must change if you want to tourism to return in full.

  7. There are random tests being carried out on arrivals as I and my wife discovered yesterday. (We were both negative)

  8. Hi reading on the gov website you have to have proof that your vaccine course finished no later than 9months ago. So if my second vaccine was over 9 months ago how do I enter the country? Any help appreciated as travelling in May and getting a bit anxious! 😐

    1. If you’re boosted, there’s no expiration date. If you’re not, you’ll want to wait and see, but it’s almost a certainty that Greece will drop Covid-19 restrictions domestically and for travel.

  9. That is all good and well but the only real reason to celebrate would be when all!!!!!!! restrictions are dropped and this BS distinction between vaxxed and unvaxxed is totally discarded. End of story.

    1. Agreed, both can catch covid, both can pass it on. It’s likely safer around those tested recently (72hrs or less) then those just walking on the plane without testing. It truly makes no sense to have 2 classes of travelers when ALL are vulnerable. All should test, or none should.

  10. you call that normality? If your are not vaccinated , i anderstand , you are not wellcome in Greece! Thats not normal!

  11. If you are vaccinated with J&J, your vaccination expires after 3 months in Greece. That means that you are considered unvaccinated and you have no access to hotels, restaurants or museums. I am not sure how Greece is planning to open to tourism this year when most of Europe gave up most of restrictions, including masks…And the worst thing…there is no transparency around these issues, I needed to call a hotel in Greece to confirm all the above!

  12. I’m ashemed for being human. Seriously. So let’s just sum this up for you, as your thinking process is slow: in the UK for example even with postive test result there are no further conceqenses. What do you think these tests are still being used at all in other countries? For your safety ? Doubtful. do you really think ,that you need like five or seven doses of vaccine ? Have you all lost your mind completely? If you would still on your bum, and let the flying corporation and vacation destinations to be empty and not visited it would finished much much sooner.

  13. Hi, we fly to Rhodes on the 4th May 2022, my kids are 8 and 6, does this mean I still need to pay for a rapid test for them both?? They have both had Covid in January but my doctors won’t print out proof of this.

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