In July and August 2021, boarding ferries in Greece will be subject to certain measures. Here’s all you need to know to travel on a ferry in Greece for summer 2021.
Ferry travel in Greece Summer 2021
Ferry travel in Greece for summer 2021 will not be the same as other years. New measures for people traveling by ferry, mean that passengers must show proof that they have been vaccinated, tested, or previously contracted COVID-19.
Note that most of these principles apply for domestic flights to the islands. There is one exception – more info later.
According to the latest official announcements (link in Greek), this applies to boarding ships / sea taxis both from ports of mainland Greece to the islands and between the islands.
If you can read Greek, you can download Gazette 3117B/16.7.2021 from the government’s official website.
Travelling from the mainland to the islands, or between islands in different Regional Units
The following applies for adult travellers travelling from
- any mainland port (e.g. Piraeus, Rafina, Lavrio, Kavala, Patras, Igoumenitsa) to the islands
- between islands in different Regional Units (more on this later)
Adult passengers can only board a ferry if:
(A) They have completed their COVID-19 vaccination at least fourteen (14) days prior to travelling, and can demonstrate a vaccination certificate – OR
(B) They have previously contracted the virus and can display a certificate issued at least thirty (30) days after the first positive test. The validity of this certificate lasts up to one hundred and eighty (180) days after it has been issued – OR
(C) They have a negative rapid antigen test, taken within the last forty eight (48) hours before the scheduled travel time – OR
(D) They have a negative PCR test, taken within the last seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled travel time.
A rapid / PCR test can only be taken at a lab, which will provide you with a relevant certificate. Here is where to take a Covid test in Greece for areas like Athens, Santorini, Mykonos etc.
As of the 16th July, adults travelling from the islands to the mainland are required to either have one of the above, or a negative self-test, which has been taken 24 hours before the scheduled travel time. Self tests are available from pharmacies at a cost of around 5 – 8 euro, and the result needs to be registered in this paper form.
In addition to the above, all adults travelling from the mainland to the islands OR an island to the mainland, will need to complete the “Pre-Boarding Health Declaration Form”. This can be completed in either paper form or electronic form.
If you prefer to complete the e-form, you will need to fill in details such as your email and mobile number. Children under 18 years old are included in the parent’s or guardian’s form.
Travelling with family in Greece – Children and teenagers
Here is what applies for people travelling with family:
Children / teenagers from 12-18 years old (born before 30.6.2009) can travel with a negative self test taken 24 hours before the scheduled travel time, and a certificate provided by the parent / guardian. Self tests are available from pharmacies at a cost of around 5 – 8 euro. The result needs to be registered by the parent / guardian in this paper form.
Children up to twelve (12) years old (born after 1.7.2009) are exempt from the above obligation and can travel without any restrictions.
Exceptions to the above for Greek ferry travel
There are certain exceptions to the above:
(A) Passengers traveling on ferries between islands of the same Regional Unit can travel after taking a self-test within twenty-four (24) hours before their scheduled travel time.
Self tests are available from pharmacies, at a cost of about 5 – 8 euro. You will need to register the result using this paper form.
I have included certain examples below so you can see where you will need a self test rather than a PCR / rapid test.
(B) Passengers who travel between different Regional Units for work purposes on a daily basis. These passengers can travel by performing a weekly self-test, which is mandatory for certain categories of employees in Greece.
(C) Passengers traveling on the following ferry lines
- Perama – Paloukia in Salamina
- Perama Megaridos – Faneromeni in Salamina
- Rio – Antirrio
- Any mainland port to Evia
Passengers on these lines can travel with a self-test, taken twenty-four (24) hours before scheduled travel time.
Examples for ferry travel summer 2021 / Self test vs rapid test
Here are a few examples of routes and what tests you will need for each one. Again, if you have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before your trip, or have contracted COVID as above, you will not need any testing.
Disclaimer: I am providing these sample itineraries as a guideline, based on the interpretation of the above. This should help you know what to expect if you are travelling to Greece this summer. Always get in touch with your travel agent or ferry company who will be able to officially inform you about all current rules.
Here are some examples of routes where a self-test is sufficient:
- Mykonos to Santorini (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Santorini to Milos (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Andros to Tinos (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Naxos to Schinoussa (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Aegina to Hydra (Attica Regional Unit)
- Rhodes to Kos (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Any travel between the Cyclades island and the Dodecanese (South Aegean Regional Unit)
- Corfu to Zakynthos (Ionian Islands Regional Unit).
Examples where a self-test is NOT sufficient, as these islands are in different Regional Units:
- Santorini to Crete (or vice versa)
- Milos to Crete (or vice versa)
As these islands are in different Regional Units, you will need to take a rapid test or PCR test at a medical lab.
Examples for ferry travel summer 2021 / Island hopping
Now, let’s say that you are not vaccinated / recovered, and you travelling from Athens to Mykonos to Santorini to Crete and back. Here is what you will need:
- Athens > Mykonos: PCR or rapid test (unless you travelled to Greece with a PCR test and it is still valid at the time of your onward trip to Mykonos)
- Mykonos > Santorini: Self test taken 24 hours before travel
- Santorini > Crete: PCR or rapid test taken 72 / 48 hours before travel
- Crete > Athens: Self test taken 24 hours before travel
Rapid / PCR tests typically need to be arranged in advance, depending on the area where you are. Prices are normally 20 and 60 euro, respectively. Check this article on where to take a Covid test in Greece.
Greek Ferry boarding procedure summer 2021
The boarding process will take place as follows:
All passengers must carry the vaccination certificate / certificate of previous Covid diagnosis / negative test result in paper or electronic form. For residents in Greece, a copy can be obtained at gov.gr.
Vaccination certificates of the European Union (digital COVID certificate) and third countries will also be accepted.
During boarding, the above certificates will be checked by the ship’s crew, under the supervision of an executive of the Port Authority.
The identity of the passengers will be checked with the passport, ID or any other identity document.
Passengers boarding ferries from ports of mainland Greece to the islands and vice versa, will need to fill in the Health Declaration Questionnaire. Your ferry company will provide you with a paper copy, or you can download it here. Alternatively, you can register your details here.
To avoid delays, passengers are kindly requested to arrive at the port at least one and a half hours before the scheduled ferry departure time.
Flights to the Greek islands
If you are flying to the Greek islands, the same principles apply. So, any trip from the mainland to the islands is subject to vaccination / previously contracting Covid / rapid testing / PCR testing. Trips from the mainland to the mainland do not require any of the above.
If you are flying from an island back to the mainland, there is a suggestion to take a self-test (while this is mandatory for ferry travel).
How to book Greek ferries
There are several platforms where you can compare routes and book your tickets to the Greek islands. I use Ferryscanner, and if you book your tickets here I will get a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps me run this website.
You should also be aware of all the rules that apply for entertainment in Greece as of July the 15th. Includes eating, theatres, performances and clubbing. Long story short, non-vaccinated adults will need to have a rapid / PCR test to visit those venues.
Finally, this article summarizes all restrictions that apply in Greece in summer 2021.
Hi! I am Vanessa from Athens, and I’ve been following the COVID measures n Greece since day 1. This article has last been updated on 16 July. If you have any questions on the above, please leave a comment right below, and I’ll do my best to help you. However, I am not an “official” source, so you should additionally get in touch with your ferry company, travel agent or embassy. Feel free to like my FB page for notifications on new blogposts and other news about Greece!