Greece is the latest country to amend its travel rules in the face of rising Omicron cases. As of Sunday, December 19, arrivals will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Travelers have the choice of taking a PCR or antigen test under the new rules. The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of traveling to Greece, while the antigen can be taken within 24 hours. The Greek Health Ministry said the rules apply to everyone over the age of five. Previously travelers could bypass the testing requirement if they could show proof of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 but the Health Ministry said tighter rules are needed as Omicron cases continue to rise across the country.

The new measure comes into effect on Sunday, December 19. If you're planning a trip to Greece, here's what you can expect.

Can I travel to Greece?

Tourist-dependent Greece is widely open to travelers from the European Union and Schengen Area countries, the USA, the UKSerbia, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Israel, Canada, North Macedonia, Ukraine, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Belarus, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Jordan, Moldova, Brunei, San Marino, Andorra, Vatican City, Monaco, Turkey, Kosovo, Chinese Taipei, Argentina, India, Uruguay, Oman, Mexico, and Chile.

Read more: The latest Greece health and safety information

The Theater Of Herodes Atticus sits below the Acropolis
You'll need to present your COVID status to enter tourist attactions like the Acropolis ©Scott E Barbour/Getty Images

What restrictions are in place?

Travelers must present proof of a negative test to enter the country from December 19, regardless of vaccination status or point of departure. The measures are temporary and apply to anyone over the age of five.

What other documentation is required?

All travelers entering Greece must fill out the Passenger Locator Form before trave. Once that's successfully submitted, they'll receive a QR code which you'll need to present before boarding your flight to Greece. And travelers should be aware that they may be selected to undergo a mandatory antigen test upon arrival as part of the enhanced screening measures at airports.

Read more: How the Acropolis is becoming more accessible

Do I need proof of vaccination to enter venues in Greece?

Yes, you will need to show proof of vaccination or recent recovery to enter most venues in Greece. EU travelers can present their EU digital COVID certificates or equivilents, while travelers from non-EU countries should present their official vaccination or medical certificates. Proof is required to access indoor dining, cinemas, theaters, museums, fitness centers and sports venues. The rules apply to all adults aged 18 and over. Children between the ages of four and 17 can enter these venues with a recent negative self-test that's recorde.d in the Self-Test Declaration form

Proof of vaccination or recovery is also required to access retail stores, outdoor eating areas, hair salons or churches, but for these venues a negative antigen or PCR test is also sufficient from everyone aged four and over.

Restaurant in Athens
Authorities in Greece have tight entry restrictions for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues ©07402/AFP/Getty Images

What vaccines does Greece accept?

Accepted vaccines include Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca/Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya (Sputnik), Cansino Biologics and Sinopharm.

Can I get tested in Greece?

Tests are widely available across Greece in major hospitals and testing centers, should they be required for your return journey home. Testing is also available at the airport in Athens. If you want to track your nearest site, the Greek National Tourism Organization has published a list of testing locations on the Visit Greece app. The cost of tests nationwide is capped at €60 (about US$70).

Do I need COVID-19 documents to travel between the Greek islands?

Yes, you'll need to present your digital COVID cert if you're an EU citizen or, if you're a non-EU resident, an official health form to confirm your vaccination, recovery or testing status. You'll also need to fill in a sea travel COVID-19 declaration form. The rules apply to adults and children between the ages of 12 and 17. Minors between the age of five and 12 are also expected to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding but that can be done through a self-test.

You might also like:

12 essential places to visit in Greece
The 12 best beaches in Greece
Best time to go to Greece

This article was first published May 2020 and updated December 2021

Explore related stories