Current Lockdown Measures in Greece – May 2021

Here are the current lockdown measures in Greece for May 2021. This article presents the main COVID-related restrictions in Greece.

Lockdown Measures Greece May 2021

This article will no longer be updated. If you are travelling in Greece from 13 September 2021 onwards, please refer to these two articles:

Greece was in a strict lockdown since November 2020 to May 2021. Movement was restricted, and many shops, businesses and services were closed for months. 

Many of the lockdown measures in Greece for May 2021 had been carried over from March 2021. With tourism officially reopening 0n 14th May 2021, they were gradually lifted.

Lockdown measures in Greece April 2021

Hi, I’m Vanessa from Athens! I’ve been following the lockdown measures in Greece since Day 1. In this article, I’ve summarized the new measures in Greece for May 2021. I’m hoping to help anyone living or currently travelling to Greece, especially non Greek speakers. This article will no longer be updated – you can go here for all latest measures.

 

 

May 2021 Lockdown Restrictions in Greece

Here is a summary of all current lockdown restrictions in Greece:

  • There is currently a curfew from 23.00 – 05.00 all around Greece.
  • In order to move around, everyone needs to use a movement permit (send an sms from a Greek phone number, or fill in a paper form). If you are moving around for work-related reasons, you will need a special form by your employer. You can find more information in the official FORMA website.
  • The use of masks is mandatory everywhere for anyone over 4 years old. The only exceptions are private cars (for members of the same family / people living together / first-second degree relatives), workplaces when only one person is present, and exercising.
  • Social distancing (1.5 metres) is mandatory
  • Up to three people total (driver + two passengers) are allowed in private vehicles and taxis. There are exceptions for families with children, for people in need of medical assistance, and for teachers and students in rural areas.
  • Recreational fishing is allowed, either from the coast or from a boat of up to 8 metres, using code 6.
  • Sailing a private boat is only allowed for fishing (boat up to 8 metres), training for athletes, or recreation within the same region. Boats cannot sail between different areas of Greece.
  • “Red” and “Deep red” zones still exist. In practice, there are few differences regarding measures at the moment. They mostly concern workplace rules, court operation and churches. In addition, in “red” zones a few more businesses are open, including beauty salons, dietitians and shopping malls. You can see a list of the “deep red” zones at the end of the article.

Lockdown restrictions in Greece April 2021 - The Acropolis is open

What is Open in Greece May 2021 – Businesses and Services

Here are the businesses that currently operate in Greece in May 2021:

  • Tavernas, restaurants, cafes (closing time 22.45)
  • Supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, other grocery stores, kiosks
  • Street markets, including the Varvakios market in Athens
  • Retail stores, shopping malls, outlets
  • Hair salons, nail salons, beauty salons, by appointment only
  • Most OPAP (lottery) stores
  • Zoos, natural reserves
  • Open archaeological sites, for groups of up to three people or families
  • Hospitals, doctors, health services, pharmacies
  • KTEO (Vehicle technical control services), by appointment only
  • Gas stations, car garages, repairs
  • Banks, post offices, courts
  • Cleaners (e.g. carpet cleaners)
  • Pet shops, veterinarians
  • Opticians, stores selling hearing aids
  • Mobile telephony businesses (selected services only)
  • Special schools
  • The three last classes of high schools (λύκεια), with mandatory self-testing for students, teachers and other employees
  • All other schools (kindergartens, primary schools, high schools – γυμνάσια), with online learning.
  • Universities, with online learning
  • Driving schools 

Roadmap to activities reopening in Greece for May 2021

Here is a summary of businesses and services that will reopen within the next few weeks in May:

  • Saturday 8 May: Organized beaches (those with sunbeds and umbrellas for hire) 
  • Monday 10th May: Νηπιαγωγεία, primary / secondary schools and γυμνάσια 
  • Monday 10th May: Administrative and other courts 
  • Monday 10th May: Private schools (φροντιστήρια) preparing students for final exams (Πανελλαδικές / certain language exams) 
  • Friday 14th May: Museums
  • Monday 17 May: Nursery schools (βρεφονηπιακοί σταθμοί), IEK / college labs and similar courses and music schools (ωδεία) 
  • Friday 21 May: Outdoors cinemas 
  • Friday 28 May: Open theatres and open-air concert venues, only for seated viewers.

The following shops and services remain closed for now: Bars / nightclubs, indoors theatres, indoors cinemas, gyms and similar activities.

Restaurants in Greece April 2021

Greece COVID measures 2021 – Movement in our Regional Unit

In order to go out for exercise or walk a pet, we need to use Code 6, and up to three people are allowed. The same measures apply when visiting archaeological sites / zoos / natural reserves or going fishing – again, we will need to use Code 6.

Inter-municipal movement is allowed anywhere within our Regional Unit. For residents of Attica, this means everywhere in mainland Attica, but not the Saronic islands).

For more information on exercising, you can check out this official website (in Greek).

COVID restrictions Greece – Shopping in May 2021

As mentioned earlier, movement is only allowed with a movement permit. These are the codes that you need to use in your sms / paper form for shopping and services.

  • Code 2Shopping for essential goods (e.g. supermarket), also hair salons / nail salons (by appointment)
  • Code 3Public services and banks
  • For retail shopping, we need to send an sms to code 13032.

Code 13032 – Code for Retail Shopping in Greece May 2021

Shopping at retail stores is possible anywhere within our Regional Unit. For people living in Athens and the suburbs, this applies to the whole of Attica, apart from the Saronic islands. Shopping is by appointment only, either “click-inside” or “click-away”. In practice, the appointment can be made right outside the store, though some stores might not have immediate availability.

To go shopping in retail stores, we need to send an sms with our name and surname, to a 5-digit number, 13032We can only use this code once per day, and shopping time is limited to 3 hours. There is no paper form for retail shopping. If you don’t have a Greek SIM card, stores will need to send you an email.

Shopping in Greece: “Click-inside” vs “click-away”

Here is the difference between “click-inside” and “click-away”. Either way, you will need to make an advance appointment with the store. In addition, the store will will need to send you an appointment confirmation by e-mail / sms.

  • “Click-inside”: Customers can go inside the store and have a look around. They can pay for their purchases by card or cash.
  • “Click-away”: Customers will pre-order their purchases before they visit. They will then pay at the store entrance, using a card (no cash).

Shopping in Athens Greece

And what about travelling around Greece?

Travelling between Regional Units in Greece for non-essential reasons is not allowed until 14th May, 6 am. This includes travelling by airplane, ferry, train, bus, private car etc. and applies for Greeks and tourists alike.

There are only a few exceptions (essential reasons) why people can travel to another Regional Unit:

  • business-related reasons
  • reasons related to health (public hospitals only, upon proof)
  • returning to someone’s primary area of residence (you would need to show official proof of your permanent address, which you can obtain through the Greek Taxis system)
  • family reunion (includes divorced families)
  • funeral, upon proof.

Inter-regional travel is currently scheduled to restart on the day that tourism is reopening, on 15th May.

Finally, here is some important information about international travel to and from Greece.

Restaurants and cafes in Greece reopened on 3rd May

After almost 6 months of being closed, restaurants and cafes reopened on Monday 3 May! Yay! Here’s what to eat in Greece. Cafes / restaurants operate as follows:

  • Customers are only able to sit in outdoors areas
  • Only seated customers are allowed
  • Customers need to wear a mask during waiting time (before being seated)
  • Up to 6 people per table
  • As the curfew is from 23.00 to 5.00, restaurants can close at 22.45 at the latest
  • There will be the usual social distancing and disinfecting measures
  • Cafes and restaurants will operate without music.

We can go to any cafe / restaurant in our Regional Unit, using code 6.

Two levels of Lockdown Restrictions Greece 2021

Greece is currently divided in two zones, “red” and “deep red”. Depending on the zone, the lockdown restrictions may be different. This is the latest version of the map:

  • A: deep red (very increased danger) – including Athens and the rest of Attica, Thessaloniki, some of Crete etc
  • B: red (increased danger) – the remaining areas of the country.

Lockdown map Greece 2021

Map taken from the official website on 17 April  

“Deep red” Zones Greece May 2021 – Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete and others

Greece is divided into Regional Units (RU) (Περιφερειακές Ενότητες), each of which has several Municipalities. In most cases, Regional Units are equivalent to “Nomos” (Νομός). The following areas are currently “deep red” zones, where the number of COVID cases is higher.

Attica

The whole Region of Attica, apart from Agistri, Hydra, Spetses and Kithira

Macedonia

  • RUs of Thessaloniki, Kozani, Kilkis, Kavala
  • Several areas in the RU of Serres
  • Municipality of Kastoria in the RU of Kastoria
  • Municipality of Skydra in the RU of Pella

Thrace

  • Certain areas in the RUs of Rodopi, Xanthi and Evros

Thessaly

  • Municipality of Volos in the RU of Magnisia

Sterea Ellada

  • RUs of Viotia and Evrytania
  • Municipality of Messolonghi in the RU of Etoloakarnania
  • Several areas in the RU of Evia

Peloponnese

  • Several areas in the RUs of Achaia and Corinthia
  • Municipality of Tripoli in the RU of Arkadia

Crete

  • Several areas in the RU of Rethymno
  • Municipality of Festos in the RU of Heraklion

The following Greek islands:

  • RUs of Lesvos and Thassos
  • Municipality of Kalymnion in the RU of Kalymnos

Sources for this article

I have collected the above information from official announcements and the following official websites:

If this article has helped you in any way, shape or form, please feel free to share with people you know!

28 thoughts on “Current Lockdown Measures in Greece – May 2021”

      • I agree… Everyone knows this, which is why Greece has officially announced that we aspire to open for tourism by 14th May. At the same time, I’m sure that you appreciate that the lockdown has been very difficult for all of us who actually live and work here… We are all waiting to see what happens!

        Reply
  1. Thanks for the all this information, We are traveling to Rhodes/Tilos/Chalki and Symi end of may 2021. Hopefully it will be safer then. I will definitely keep reading your blog and hoping that everything will chance for the best. Many regards
    Miek

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment! Excellent choice of islands!! I do hope that things will go as announced, and that tourism will reopen by mid-May 2021. Let’s stay positive!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for clarifying all of the confusing lockdown info. I’m currently visiting my family in Athens and this is very helpful. On another note, can you recommend where one might get a PCR test required by airlines prior to travel with reliable results within 48 hrs?

    Reply
    • Heh this is my next blog post but I’m still doing the research! Many of the bigger private clinics do it, for example Bioiatriki has several branches and they are very efficient. Also Iatriko have several branches. Not sure when you are leaving, but bear in mind that the centres will be closed on Easter Sunday. In any case, you should give them a ring to book an appointment. If this doesn’t help, just comment again with your area and I’ll find more info for you 🙂

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the great and clear article. I currently have a trip planned to Athens on May 1 and was planning to go to Mykonos by ferry on May 2 (staying there until May 5), but given your article it seems this is not allowed, as it is pure tourism and a travel between regional unit. Can you confirm that I get that part right ?

    Reply
    • Hello! Exactly, unfortunately travelling to islands is currently not allowed 🙁 You can only stay in the Attica region which is quite big, you could go swimming on the coast, or visit the archaeological sites. You should absolutely go to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, it’s great out there! I am currently updating my Greek Easter article that you might find interesting – check it out!

      Reply
  4. Hello Vanessa
    We are traveling to Greece on 3 of may and we have booked a place in Paros
    From your Information looks like we will not be able to go there because none of the above reasons don’t fit for us
    Is there any exception for tourists to travel with the ferry?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi James, like you say restrictions are in place until the 10th May, and they are supposed to be in place for everyone, including visitors. Were you planning to fly into Athens then take another flight / ferry to Paros? If this is the case, I’m afraid that you couldn’t, at least in theory, but I strongly suggest talking to your accommodation and asking whether other tourists have been able to do the same. With that said, police checks are quite strict these days, due to the Easter holiday. Sorry I can’t help more, but please keep me updated, I’m really interested in finding out what happens in practice!

      Reply
  5. Hi Vanessa your article is very helpful
    We will be traveling to Greece 3d of may and we were planning to travel to Paros
    As far as I have seen 3d of may the ban for ferry travel is over
    Would we be able to travel to the island ?

    Reply
  6. Clear, and also helpful, even though my Greek is good enough to read the ΦΕΚ.
    You might have mentioned that most Greeks and many foreign English speakers still refer to a “Regional Unit” as a “Nomos”. Afner all, even though the official name changed in 2011, they mostly have the same boundaries, except around Athens and in the islands.
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Thank you! Actually, this is a great point… I still refer to these as “Nomos” myself 😀 {Incidentally, I’m super impressed with any foreigner who can read the WHOLE ΦΕΚ, incredible!!!}

      Reply
  7. My friend and I would like to travel to Aggistri on Tuesday of next week (the 11th) for touristic reasons. We are both Greek student visa holders and live in Athens. Would we be able to travel there on Tuesday without an issue?

    Reply
  8. Travelling between Regional Units in Greece for non-essential reasons is not allowed until 10th May. (Gazette no
    Inter-regional travel is currently scheduled to restart on the day that tourism is reopening, on 15th May.
    Hi there Just a bit confused by the 2 statements above. What is the difference / only the dates or perhaps I’m being a bit dense? I live on Crete (chania came out of deep red) can I travel from my home ( in the regional unit of Chania but a different municipality) to do grocery shopping. I know u still have to send sms to 13033 code 2 for 2 hrs ( hopefully this will change on 15th

    Reply
    • Thanks for your question! I understand it’s confusing, but there was no update when you asked.
      Update on Monday 10th May: inter-regional travel is still not allowed until the 14th, 6am. You can travel across municipalities / towns / cities as long as they are in the same region. The 2-hour window has been lifted since a couple of weeks. So you can still send 13033 but no problem in terms of time constraints.

      Reply
  9. Hi Vanessa, Great blog. Very useful. I have particular interest in what the current restrictions are for churches and religious services. I don’t read Greek so it is hard to establish what the regulations are. Hopefully you explain in simple terms. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi and thanks for asking! So, currently there are restrictions at the number of people (one person per 25 sqm inside the church / one person per 10 sqm outside the church). People have to wear either a double mask, or a N95 mask. For weddings, funerals etc there is a max limit of 9 attendants. Hope this helps but feel free to ask again!

      Reply

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