Health First

­Dear friends of the Aegean islands,

In our islands, philoxenia (the Greek word for hospitality) is literally in our blood. Those of you who have been with us before, are aware of our firm dedication to provide a holiday experience like no other. Now, more than ever before, we also have a firm commitment to take all required measures to enable you enjoy your stay safely.

TRAVELLING TO THE AEGEAN ISLANDS BY AIR OR SEA

We would like to inform you that based on the Greek Government’s decision, all travellers to any Greek airport, port or land border, are obliged to have completed the special Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before their entrance to the country. The Passenger Locator Form (PLF) can be found here. Upon submitting the PLF, travellers will receive a confirmation email and one day before their arrival they will receive a personal QR code. This code must be presented, either via mobile phone or in printed form, at the borders upon arrival. Travellers arriving at Greek airports, ports and borders from abroad will be subject to random Covid-19 testing upon their arrival.

Arrival of passengers at the arrival gate.
Transfer to the area where screening personnel are located and check the unique quick response (QR) code each passenger shows on the mobile phone screen or printed QR form. Depending on passengers’ QR code, screening personnel either direct them to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or towards the exit (baggage claim area or passport control). Upon completion of the test, travellers will be directed towards the exit (baggage claim area or passport control). Authorities will contact them only in case they are tested positive.

Those travellers that will take the test for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are advised to practice social distancing and self-monitored for symptoms until the results become available within 24 hours. In case symptoms appear, one should seek immediately medical advice and/or contact the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operation Centre for instructions at: +30 210 5212 054.

All travellers during their holidays must comply with all necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and social distancing).

Arrival of incoming travellers on foot at the main entry gate.
Incoming passengers arriving in vehicles are directed to the special entry gate.
All passengers are transferred to areas where screening personnel are located and check the unique quick response (QR) code each passenger shows on the mobile phone screen or printed QR form.
Depending on passengers’ QR code, screening personnel either direct them to the screening area where they will be tested for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by a trained health team or towards the exit (baggage claim area or passport control). Upon completion of the test, travellers will be directed towards the exit (baggage claim area or passport control). Authorities will contact them only in case they are tested positive.

Those travellers that will take the test for the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are advised to practice social distancing and self-monitored for symptoms until the results become available within 24 hours. In case symptoms appear, one should seek immediately medical advice and/or contact the National Public Health Organization (EODY) Operation Centre for instructions at: +30 210 5212 054.

All travellers during their holidays must comply with all necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and social distancing).

ARRIVING AT YOUR DESTINATION

The Aegean islands are ready to welcome you, implementing all the necessary and obligatory protocols and measures issued by the Greek Government and the local authorities. The Greek national health system implements a thorough emergency plan, designating hospitals responsible for COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, the Greek government and the local authorities have designated at least one hotel in most destinations to operate as a Covid-19 special quarantine hotel. This hotel will be in a position to accommodate travellers with light symptoms who are not in need to be treated in a hospital.
Employees in the tourism industry in all our destinations have completed online training sessions for COVID-19 safety measures and are now accredited and ready to serve you. Local communities continue to implement physical and social distancing and are ready to offer the famous Greek hospitality to our guests!

In case you will get a transfer, you and the driver should always wear a mask. Based on Greek Government’s decision, taxis and minivans (up to 7 seats) can transfer up to 3 persons, excluding the driver. 8 and 9 seaters can transfer up to 5 persons, excluding the driver. Busses can transfer up to 65% of their total capacity, excluding the driver. Be assured that all vehicles will follow specific sanitization measures in order to safeguard your health and safety, according to Greek Government’s protocols.

DURING YOUR STAY

Following the Greek Government’s decisions, all accommodation units will maintain a travelers’ information log in full compliance with GDPR protocols. For the safety of our guests all accommodation public areas have been redesigned following social distancing rules and sanitization protocols. This of course applies to all outdoor pool and beaches, so that our guests can enjoy the famous Greek Sea & Sun with peace in mind.
Housekeeping will be enhancing daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures on accommodation properties, to ensure the safety and comfort of guests.
Please do not hesitate to ask your accommodation to inform you more specifically on all measures they are undertaking to safeguard your stay.
You may read here the detailed health protocols that apply for all hotels in Greece: http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/home/health_protocols_

All restaurants and bars will continue to operate under high standards of safety. According to the government guidelines, tables are placed only in outdoor or semi-outdoor areas, with a safe distance from each other, while a rule of one (1) customer per m2 of available outdoor space and one (1) customer per 2.2 m2 for indoor spaces is in place.
Until August 31st 2020 there is a ban of standing customers in all night centers (bars, clubs, live music centers, bar-restaurants, café-bars etc.).
From 11th to 24th of August, night centers will be open until midnight in Attica (including Saronic Gulf and Kythira island), Thessaloniki (and the wider area), Halkidiki, Eastern  Macedonia, Thrace,  Larisa (and the wider area), Volos, Katerini, Crete, Corfu, (including Othonoi, Ereikoussa and Mathraki islets), Mykonos, Paros, Antiparos, Santorini, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos.

The staff is required to wear a mask or face covering, while customers are advised to practice the same.

Archaeological sites and museums allow a specific number of visitors per hour to enter, while a particular procedure at the entrance and exit of visitors is also applied. It is recommended for the public to use masks, hand sanitisers and keep the indicated/prescribed distances.
You could also enjoy summer open-air cinemas, currently operating at a capacity limit of 75%, without a screening break (the canteens will be open throughout the screenings, in order to avoid overcrowding). There will be a vacant seat next to every two or four spectators (if applicable). All measures concerning the sanitation of premises, as well as social distancing at the counter will be in force and contactless transactions are advised. Pre-purchase of an e-ticket, where available, is also recommended.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – TRAVEL Q&A

A: Updated information on the list of countries whose residents are allowed to travel in Greece can be found in https://greecehealthfirst.gr/ under the “I want to travel to Greece. Can I?” section.

A: All visitors from air, land or sea, will be subjected to random tests upon arrival. After being tested, the passengers will be free to move to their final destination and have to be self-isolated for 24 hours. In the event of a positive result, they will be contacted and placed on 14-day quarantine, with expenses covered by the Greek state. Travellers entering the Promachonas border station are obliged to present a negative molecular test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival.
Passengers flying to Greece from Bulgaria, Romania, U.A.E. and Malta (as of August 11, 2020 until 31 August 2020) and from Sweden, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia (as of August 17, 2020 until 31 August 2020), need proof of a negative molecular test result for COVID-19, in order to gain entry. The test should be performed up to 72 hours prior to their entry to the country.

Greek citizens and holders of permanent residence in Greece are not exempted from this obligation.
Only travellers who carry a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test result will be allowed by the border authorities to enter the country. The certificates should be written in English and bear the name and passport/national ID number of the traveller.

A: Sample testing is a mandatory element of the entrance procedure. Travellers entering the Promachonas border station are obliged to produce a negative molecular test taken within 72 hours before their arrival.

A: The use of a face mask is  COMPULSORY in:
Planes, Boats (indoor and outdoor areas), Trains, Metro Railway System, Buses & Trolleybuses, Taxis & Mini Vans, Hospitals, Clinics, Health & Diagnostic Centers, Super markets and Food stores (bakeries, butcher shops, fish markets, candy stores etc), Museums, Retail Stores, Banks and Public Sector Service Offices, Hair and Beauty Salons, Elevators.

The use of a face mask is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED in:
Archaeological sites, Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Cinemas, Stairs, all open spaces, and indoor areas where social gatherings and physical distance can’t be maintained.

A fine of €150 will be payable for not wearing a mask in areas where this is required.

A: Yes. From 1 July all resort hotels are allowed to operate in compliance with specific hygiene protocols.

A: The Ministry of Tourism has a plan of audits and we encourage all enterprises to seek third party accreditation. We have also set up a training and information website for employees and owners in order to ensure that the knowledge of the protocols is disseminated in a timely and responsible manner. Finally, we have established steep fines for those neglecting their duties. In case of complaints, visitors can call the four-digit number 1572 of the Ministry Tourism.

A: Restaurants, cafes bars, entertainment parks, spas, open – air cinemas, festivity and cultural event venues and museums are open under specific hygiene protocols. Archaeological sites as well as organised and non-organised public beaches are also operating under specific hygiene protocols.

Please bear in mind that until August 31st 2020 there is a ban of standing customers in all night centers (bars, clubs, live music centers, bar-restaurants, café-bars etc.).
From 11th to 24th of August, night centers will be open until midnight in Attica (including Saronic Gulf and Kythira island), Thessaloniki (and the wider area), Halkidiki, Eastern Macedonia, Thrace, Larisa (and the wider area) Volos, Katerini, Crete, Corfu, (including Othonoi, Ereikoussa and Mathraki islets), Mykonos, Paros, Antiparos, Santorini, Kos, Rhodes and Zakynthos.

Also, in the above areas, until August 24, a limit of 50 people is valid for all public and social events and gatherings, except those to which special rules apply, such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas.

A: Travel by train, bus, plane or ship is permitted within the country’s borders. Under current rules, the Greek government has banned both cruise trips and the docking of cruise ships at Greek ports.

The use of face coverings is mandatory on all public transport (metro, buses, trolleybuses etc.) and taxis. A fine is imposed for not wearing a face covering. Taxis/minibuses of 5 and 7 seats or private vehicles/minibuses can only carry up to 3 passengers. Minibuses of 8 and 9 seats can carry up to 5 passengers. The above restriction does not apply to parents with minors.

To travel by intercity buses, touring coaches and trains, the use of a face covering is mandatory. Vehicles operate at 65% of their seating capacity.
To travel by ferry, passengers are required to fill in a questionnaire, have their temperature screened, wear a face mask in all areas (indoors and outdoors) and maintain a physical distance from other passengers everywhere on board.
Ferry boats with cabins sail at 85% of their capacity, while vessels without cabins and speedboats at 80% of their capacity. Passengers should practice physical distancing while getting on and off the boat.
Only two individual persons are allowed per cabin, except for families or people with disabilities and their escorts (up to 4 persons).

A: The Greek state will cover expenses related to hospitalization of visitors suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.

A: In the event of a confirmed infection, close contacts of the case will be transferred to a separate quarantine accommodation at the expense of the Greek state. Remaining guests will continue their holidays.

A: Greece will cover transfer to hospital and medical costs as well as stay in quarantine hotel if needed. We urge airlines travel agents and hotels to offer maximum flexibility during this time of customer and regulatory uncertainty.

A: Temporary restriction of flight connections with Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania have been extended until 31.8.2020. The flights from Albania and North Macedonia can only be landed in Athens’ Airport until 31.8.2020.

Negative COVID -19 PCR test at least 72 hours prior to the travel is necessary for those passengers arriving by air from Sweden, Belgium Spain, the Netherlands, Albania, North Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta and U.A.E. Greek citizens and holders of permanent residence in Greece and other essential travellers are not exempted from this obligation.

Arrivals by ferry ships are allowed only in Patras, Corfu and Igoumenitsa ports.

Cruise ships are allowed to visit 6 ports when entering Greece from 01.08.2020. Specifically, these are the ports of Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu and Katakolo. After their first mooring, cruise ships will be able to approach any other Greek port included in their itinerary.

Until 31.8.2020 there is no sea from/to connection with Turkey, Albania (with exemption of cargo ships).

A: All visitors can enter through Promachonas border station. Travellers are obliged to present a negative molecular test which cannot be older than 72 hours prior to their entry.

A: Essential travel is allowed through Nymfaia, Krystallopigi, Kakavia, Kipi, Evzones and Promachonas points of entry. As of Friday August 7th, 2020 at 11 pm (GMT+3) entry from Nymfaia, Krystallopigi, Kakavia, Kipi, Evzones, Ormenio border stations is allowed for essential travel daily only from 7 am until 11 pm. As of Monday, August 17th at 00.01 (GMT+3) all those entering from BCPs Kakavia, Krystallopigi, Evzoni, Nymfeas and Kipi should have the PLF and QR code and additionally hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72h prior their arrival. From Sunday, August 16th, only 750 travelers per day will be allowed to enter from BCP Kakavia, and only 300 travelers from BCP Krystallopigi.

A: Please read a regularly updated, very informative section in https://greecehealthfirst.gr/

USEFUL LINKS

Greece Health First: https://greecehealthfirst.gr/
Protocol for Arrivals in Greece: https://travel.gov.gr/
Official Greece’s tourism website (section on Covid-19): http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/home/about_covid_19
Detailed daily data about the progress of the pandemic in Greece: https://covid19.gov.gr/covid19-live-analytics/