Greece Coronavirus Update: Measures against the COVID-19

Last updated on August 10th, 2020 at 11:09 am

The Greek government has shut down most businesses in Greece due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. As of 16 March, more and more travel restrictions are being put in place. Read on to find out more.

We are updating this post whenever new measures are being put in place. Feel free to check back, and please please please share it with anyone who is interested in Coronavirus news in Greece. Also, follow our FB page for instant news.  

3 June 2020 – The plan for the next few weeks – Bars and gyms to reopen

It has been announced that more businesses will reopen in the next couple of weeks. If you’ve missed your favourite bar and / or gym, here you go!

A bicycle in a gym

As of the 6th June, restaurants with indoors areas will reopen. This includes restaurants that are located inside hotels, and open-air canteens with some exceptions (κυλικείο vs καντίνα – this has to do with how a business is registered).

As of the 8th June, bars, clubs, dance clubs, venues with live music and internet cafes will resume operation.

Heineken Bar

No this is not in Athens… it’s in Ho Chi Minh City!  Crazy place

There will be social distancing rules, and only a certain number of people will be allowed in, depending on the size of the restaurant or bar.

As for beaches and beach bars, selling alcohol is now permitted, but activities that can attract large numbers of people together are discouraged.

On the 15th of June, several businesses will reopen, some of which were originally scheduled to open later. These include:

  • seasonal hotels
  • museums
  • gyms and pilates classes
  • SPA centres, saunas, thermal baths, hammams
  • physiotherapy centres
  • thematic parks, entertainment parks
  • escort services

On the 29th June, children’s campsites will resume operation – this is a very popular activity for many families.

Finally, on the 1st July, the following activities will resume

  • conferences and commercial exhibitions
  • concerts and artistic performances
  • political union activities

There is firm date yet for when school canteens, indoor cinemas, casinos and activities for seniors (ΚΑΠΗ) will resume.

This means that people visiting our country as of 1st of July can enjoy Greece to the fullest!

1 June 2020 – More businesses reopening today

June is here, wow!  Let’s hope that the weather gets better soon, as the last days of May have been unusually cold and wet. At least we had the chance to see some cool rainbows!

Rainbow near Athens Greece

Apart from hotels and cinemas, that had already been announced, a few more businesses are reopen as of today. Here is a full list:

  • All-year-round hotels
  • Campsites, with the exception of children’s campsites
  • Catering services
  • Outdoors cinemas
  • Canteens operating at sports premises
  • Libraries
  • Golf and mini-golf courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Estates where wedding receptions and similar events are organized
  • Wedding planning services and similar
  • Dating services
  • Tattoo and piercing studios
  • Massage studios
  • Cultural associations
  • Sunday flea markets and other outdoors markets

Hopefully we can soon go to an outdoors cinema when it’s dry!

29 May 2020 – Greece is soon reopening to tourism

Today, the government has officially announced a list of 29 countries from where visitors will be welcome to Greece as of the 15th June. You can find all information in our brand new article about travelling in Greece in summer 2020.

Flights to Greece resume on 15th June 2020

On this coming Monday, 1st June, primary schools and kindergartens will reopen, with certain regulations in place. In addition, all-year-round hotels and flea markets will open to the public.

Finally, outdoors cinemas will also start operating on 1 June, at 40% of their capacity. Note that cinema canteens and bars will not open to begin with. We’re really looking forward to watching a movie outdoors when the weather gets better!

24 May 2020 – Primary schools and kindergartens to reopen on 1st June

It has been announced that primary schools and kindergartens will reopen on the 1st of June. They will operate under new protocols and with reduced student numbers.

Schools will remain open until the 26th June.

It is also likely that schools will reopen earlier than normal in September, but this will be decided later in summer.

23 May 2020 – Tavernas and cafes to reopen this Monday

Tavernas and cafes all around Greece will reopen this coming Monday, 25 May. This only applies to establishments with outdoors areas. Those that only have indoors space are currently scheduled to reopen on the 15th of June.

Like for other businesses, several measures will be in place. There will need to be physical space between tables. The aim is to have one customer per two square metres. Up to 6 people can sit at one table, though there are no limitations for families with underage children.

Menus will have to be cleaned after each use, and employees may need to wear masks and gloves, depending on their job description and tasks.

Greek stuffed vine leaves

We have definitely missed dolmadakia – stuffed vine leaves. We are looking forward to having a nice meal by the coast! How about you?

20 May 2020 – Tourist season to open in June

Today, there was a series of announcements relevant to tourism and travelling to Greece. Much of the news is relevant to business owners and seasonal employees.

Here are some of the most interesting points that were made today that are relevant to visitors:

  • 12-month hotels and campsites will open on 1st June
  • Seasonal hotels can reopen as of the 15th June
  • Certain flights to Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens will resume on 15th June. The exact countries of origin of the flights have not been decided yet.
  • Direct flights from abroad to the islands and other Greek airports will start resuming on 1st July
  • Residents of countries with negative epidemiological characteristics will be excluded from entering Greece. No further information was given, and there will be further clarification in the future.
  • There will no longer be quarantine measures or mandatory testing for the COVID-19. However, randomly selected visitors will be tested upon arrival. At the moment, the 14-day mandatory quarantine measure has been extended until the 31st of May.
  • In an effort to encourage internal tourism, VAT will be reduced for certain services, such as transportation.

Ferries to the Greek islands

As for us, we can’t wait to board a ferry again, mask or no mask!

15 May 2020 – Information related to ferries and flights to Greece

New announcements have been made today, regarding flights to / from Greece as well as ferry travel.

Regarding flights from and to Greece, the following announcements have been made

  • Flights to and from Italy, Spain, UK, the Netherlands will not resume until at least 31/5
  • Flights to and from Albania, N. Macedonia and Turkey will not resume until at least 14/6
  • All international flights will only land at the Athens airport until at least 31/5
  • Non-EU citizens can not enter Greece until at least 31/5 (there are several exceptions, e.g. family members of EU citizens, those who have a long term visa for the EU, resident of Schengen countries)
  • Domestic flights will slowly resume in the next couple of weeks

Ferry travel to Crete will resume on Monday 18th May, while travel to other islands is currently expected to resume on Monday 25th May. We will post an update for that!

Summer in Greece - Boat to Pireaus

Remember this? You can now forget it….

Regarding ferry travel, the following regulations will be in place from 18 May to 15 June:

  • Passengers will have their temperature taken before boarding the ferry, and they will also have to fill in a health questionnaire, which is available online here > Ερωτηματολόγιο Ακτοπλοΐας Εσωτερικού – Αγγλικά
  • The maximum number of passengers will be 50% of the maximum allowed number, and 55% in ferries with cabins
  • In the reserved seating sections, there will always be a gap of one seat between passengers
  • There can only be one person per cabin, apart from families
  • The use of masks is necessary for passengers and crew
  • All other safety precautions will be in use (hand sanitizer available, frequent cleaning, social distancing etc)

13 May 2020 – Organized beaches to reopen this weekend

There’s a heatwave coming this weekend. In fact, summer is here already!

Today it was announced that all organized beaches of the country, that were closed down a few weeks ago, will reopen this coming weekend.

There will be strict regulations regarding placement of umbrellas and loungers. There will be no waiter services, and only packaged foods and drinks will be on sale at the canteens. The sale of alcoholic drinks will not be allowed.

People will need to keep social distancing, and they must bring their own towel to use on the lounger.

Snorkeling near Athens

Here is where we went for our first swim this year! One of our favourite beaches in Attica – get in touch with us if you want to find out where it is!

The water was a bit fresh – after all, it’s still May. Snorkeling was great and there were many, many fish. It has probably helped that all these ferries have stayed at the port for a few weeks now…

12 May 2020 – Travelling between regions to resume on 18th May

As previously announced, travelling to all areas of continental Greece will resume on the 18th May. In addition, travelling to Crete will also be possible as of the 18th. Still, hotels are not expected to reopen before the 1st of June, and this only includes all-year-round hotels.

We love Crete! It has some of the best beaches in Greece!

Greece best beaches

Church services will also recommence on the 17th May. There will be limitations on the number of people that can enter at the same time.

9 May 2020 – Travelling to the islands is gradually being relaxed

The restricted movement to the islands will gradually be relaxed in the next few weeks.

Starting on 11th May, people who work on the islands can travel there. At the moment, this is only for people whose businesses are allowed to do business, e.g. it doesn’t include hotels and seated restaurants. These people will need to carry the appropriate documentation.

7 May 2020 – News on cultural venues

Today, it was announced that while movement around regions in continental Greece is expected to resume on 18th May, there is no specific plan for the islands yet. It will be decided in the next few days.

In terms of cultural venues, there were a few updates:
– archaeological sites are currently scheduled to reopen on 18th May
– outdoors cinemas are planned to reopen on 1st June
– museums will reopen on 15th June
– cultural activities in outdoors spaces (e.g. theatrical plays) are expected to resume on 15th July at the earliest

Distancing and hygiene precautions will be in place in all the above. Limited numbers of people will be able to visit, similarly to what is now happening at supermarkets and other stores.

3 May 2020 – The coronavirus era is not over

Can any of you actually remember when Greece went into lockdown?

You may be surprised, but it’s already been 6 weeks… we went into lockdown on 23 March!

So while the quarantine is now mostly over, the government reminds us that life is not back to normal yet.

The main things to remember are the following:

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands!
  • Avoid touching your face (not as easy as it sounds)
  • Use the protective masks (not necessarily surgical masks, you can even make your own) as explained on 2nd May. Remember that you have to wash your hands before and after using the mask. Reusable masks need to be washed at 60 degrees and ironed. More info (in Greek) here – includes instructions on how to make your own mask – and here.
  • Keeping social distancing
  • Gatherings of over 10 people are still not allowed – according to Vima, these  will incur a fine of 1,000 euro per person

For any of you planning to go shopping for books, electronics etc this week in the Athens area, remember that stores will be opening at 10.00 rather than 9.00. This is a measure taken in order to avoid crowding in the metro. Supermarkets will still be open 7.00 – 21.00.

And by the way, as summer is on its way, here are some tips to keep cool in the summer in Athens! The National Gardens should reopen on the 18th May, along with archaeological sites.

The Acropolis in Athens

We are looking forward to going back and exploring our lovely city!

2 May 2020 – Are masks mandatory? Final answers

Today, it was officially announced that, as of Monday 4th May, masks will need to be used as follows:

MANDATORY

  • Employees and passengers in public transportation and taxis
  • Employees and customers / patients in medical centres, doctors’ practices and hospitals
  • Supermarket employees handling loose goods (e.g. the cheese counter, bakeries)
  • Employees at hair salons and beauty parlours
  • People using elevators – note that the elevators need to be occupied up to only 40% of their capacity

NOT MANDATORY, BUT STRONGLY RECOMMENDED

  • Shop employees – this includes supermarket employees who are not handling loose goods
  • Customers in all stores, including hair salons and beauty parlours

It is fine to use any type of mask, including homemade ones. The only exception is doctors and people working in the medical field in hospitals, medical practices and medical / diagnostic centres.

It has also been clarified that residents of Attica cannot travel to the Argosaronic islands. Movement is allowed in the Athens metropolitan area.

29 April 2020 – Are masks mandatory?

According to the 6 pm update, wearing protective masks will be mandatory as of the 4th May in all closed spaces. This includes public transportation, taxis, hairdressers, supermarkets, and all other shops and services. Both employees and customers / passengers will need to use masks. Fabric or paper masks were mentioned as well. The fine for not using a mask will be set at 150 euro.

There will be further announcements regarding masks in the next couple of days, so watch this space!

How will schools function for the rest of the school year?

Further clarifications were made for schools, but not everything is set in stone yet. These are the most important things to keep in mind.

  • Students of 3rd Grade of high school will go back to school on 11th May, and all other high school students on 18th May
  • High schools might be open until the 12th June, and may reopen earlier than normal, on 1st September
  • To keep the number of students per class low, students will be divided in two subgroups and will go to school on alternate days. Subgroup A will go to school on Monday – Wednesday – Friday on week 1, and on Tuesday – Thursday on week 2, while subgroup B will go to school on the remaining days.
  • School canteens will remain closed.
  • Primary schools and kindergartens may reopen on 1st June. In this case they may close on the 30th June
  • Private after-school institutions (e.g. language schools) will reopen on 18th May, but there are strong suggestions for the use of e-learning
  • The Panhellenic Exams for students of the 3rd Grade will begin on 15-16 June. For all other grades, end-of-year exams will not take place.

28 April 2020 – Plans to relax movement restrictions UPDATED WITH FURTHER CLARIFICATIONS

The updates regarding the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in Greece have now been announced.

Here’s a summary of everything that was announced by the prime minister and the various ministers. The measures will be relaxed in 7 stages, starting from 4th May.

You can download all this information, in both Greek and English, from the official website. There are different pdf documents.

Also, check out this article (in Greek).

Note that this plan may be altered at any point if it is considered necessary. This will depend on how things go after measures have started relaxing. Note that there has been no new information on flights.

What is changing from 4th May (1st stage)

The form / SMS to 13033 will not be required anymore. Yay! Movement is allowed within our region / prefecture (νομός) but not between regions.

As an example, someone who lives in Kifissia (Attica) can go to Alimos, Faliro, Sounio or central Athens, but not to Nafplio. Similarly, someone who lives in Volos (Magnisia) can go to Pelion, but not to Larisa. Movement between islands is still restricted though. If you live on an island, it’s best to contact your local port authorities.

Very importantly, we will now be able to go to the beach!! Organised beaches, however, will remain closed for the time being.

However, the 2 metre distancing is still in effect, and it is strongly recommended that gatherings over 10 people are avoided.

COVID measures Greece

The following retail stores and services will reopen on the 4th May

  • Hairdressers, barbers and beauty parlours, by appointment only
  • Electronics, PC hardware and software
  • Mobile phones, telecommunications
  • Opticians
  • Hearing aids
  • Bookstores
  • Sports equipment
  • Shops selling flowers and plants
  • Tailors and seamstresses
  • KTEO (state car check), by appointment only
  • Churches for individual prayer

There will be specific regulations for the number of people who can simultaneously be inside a store. This will be similar to what already applies in supermarkets and banks.

Wearing protective masks will be mandatory for employees and customers in all shops and services, including taxis. There will be further announcements regarding masks, so watch this space!

In terms of public transportation (e.g. the Athens metro), the use of masks will also be mandatory for employees and passengers. At the same time, people are advised to use their vehicles instead of public transportation wherever possible.

For this reason, the congestion zone measures in central Athens (δακτύλιος) will be relaxed for the whole of May. People are also discouraged from using public transportation during peak hours unless absolutely necessary.

There can now be up to three passengers (driver + 2 people) per vehicle.

Further changes from 11th May (2nd stage)

  • All other shops will reopen. The only exception is shopping malls. It looks like opening time for stores will be 10 am, instead of the normal time (9 am).
  • Driving schools will reopen. Instructors and students will have to wear masks and gloves.
  • 3rd Grade of High School (Lykeio) will go back to school.
  • As of 17th May, worship in churches will resume, under specific rules that will be discussed.

Further changes from 18th May (3rd stage)

All other grades of High School (Gymnasio and 1st – 2nd of Lykeio) will go back to school. Other places that will reopen include

  • Zoos, parks and botanical gardens
  • Archaeological sites
  • Lottery / gambling shops (OPAP), where masks and gloves need to be used

It is possible that movement restrictions will be lifted on the 18th May, and we can travel all around the country, but this is not a final decision.

Further changes from 1st June (4th stage)

  • Cafes and tavernas will reopen, serving only at outdoors areas. Distances between tables will need to be respected, and there can be no more than 4 people per table. Employees will need to wear masks and gloves.
  • Shopping malls will reopen, only serving standing customers – i.e. cafes or restaurants inside the malls will not open at this stage.
  • Primary schools and kindergartens MIGHT reopen on the 1st June, but this will be decided later.

Later in the year (5th – 7th stages)

The current plan is for more places to gradually reopen later in the year. No specific dates have been announced for certain. 

  • Outdoors cinemas, allowing up to 60% of their capacity (5th stage)
  • Hotels operating all-year-round (5th stage)
  • Amusement parks, thematic parks (6th stage)
  • Playgrounds (6th stage)
  • Indoors restaurants, tavernas, cafes (7th stage)
  • Cinemas, bars, nightclubs (7th stage)
  • Campsites, smaller hotels (7th stage)
  • Gyms and outdoor exercise areas (7th stage)

23 April 2020 – Movement restrictions have been extended until 4th May

It has now been officially announced that movement restrictions will stay in place until the 4th of May. The prime minister will make a new announcement towards the beginning of next week.

So remember – complete your forms, or send your SMS before you go out.

At least spring is in full bloom!

Poppies and daisies in Athens

 

16 April 2020 – Higher fines announced

The government has announced that from 21.00 on Saturday 18 April (Good Saturday) until midnight on Monday 20 April, fines for people moving around with no valid reason will be doubled to 300 euro.

Additionally, people who claim they are going out for reason no B4 (visiting a person who needs assistance) will be checked further.

These stricter measures have been put in place to ensure that people won’t be visiting friends or relatives to celebrate Greek Easter.

People are also being reminded that churches will be closed. This has now been extended until the 28th of April.

A Greek church

Happy Greek Easter everyone, wherever you are!

15 April 2020 – Flights from certain countries will not happen for another month

It has been announced that no flights to and from Italy, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the Netherlands will happen until 15th May, 23:59. Flights to and from Germany will only be allowed from / to the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport.

There will be certain exclusions, such as for cargo, sanitary, humanitarian, state, ferry flights as well as emergency and repatriation flights.

All flights to and from Greece to be cancelled

Similarly, non-EU citizens will not be allowed into the country until 15th May. There are exceptions for family members of EU citizens, and for citizens of third countries who have a long-term visa for a EU or Schengen country.

10 April 2020 – Schools to remain closed for another month

After many rumours during the past couple of days, it has now been officially announced that schools, universities and other institutions will remain closed until the 10th May.

Additionally, due to a number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in a Roma settlement in Larisa, there will be stricter measures in Thessaly prefecture. This will include street markets closing for the next two weeks.

8 April 2020 – No movement around the country

At 18.00 today, the government reemphasized the existing measures. They reminded that there will be further checks and controls in light of Easter Sunday, which is on 19th April. Fines for people moving unnecessarily on the national roads will be doubled (300 euro). People travelling by car will have their number plates confiscated for 2 months.

The only exceptions are people travelling to their permanent place of residence, but they will not be allowed to move again.

Clarifications were also provided for residents of smaller islands. They are allowed to travel to bigger islands within the same municipality for reasons B1, B2 and B3. As an example, residents of Symi can travel to Rhodes, but residents of Rhodes cannot travel to Symi.

These measures are in effect until 27 April, when they will be re-evaluated.

No Greek Easter this year, though there has been talk about it being celebrated on the 26 May. Read more about our weird Easter customs!

7 April 2020 – COVID-19 website announced

The government has launched a new website with all information for the coronavirus in Greece. This includes all regulations and measures.

The website is only in Greek for the time being. You can have a look here covid19.gov.gr.

5 April 2020 – Additional measures announced for Mykonos and Santorini, including curfew on Mykonos

More measures were announced earlier today for two of our most popular islands, Mykonos and Santorini. You can read the Gazette ΦΕΚ1179/Β/2020 for more details (in Greek).

The following additional restrictions apply for Mykonos only:

Sadly, Mykonos has already had two COVID-19 cases. To prevent the virus from spreading further, there will now be a curfew between 20.00 and 8.00. Additionally, there will be stricter restrictions for walking with a pet, as this is now limited to 15 minutes and only close to home. Attending a funeral is only allowed for close relatives, and offering help to others is not allowed.

Furthermore, supermarkets and street markets in Mykonos will be operating under stricter rules. Fewer people will be allowed inside the supermarkets, while street market stalls will only be on one side of the street and they will be further apart.

These measures will remain in place from 6th to 20th April.

Further restrictions for both Mykonos and Santorini:

Non-essential infrastructure projects are being put on hold in both Mykonos and Santorini. There will be some exceptions for Santorini, such as the extension of Athinios port and road construction in certain areas of the island.

4 April 2020 – Movement restriction to remain in place until 27 April

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that movement restriction has officially been extended until after Greek Easter, which is on 19th April… All official information, including the forms that people need to fill, are on forma.gov.gr.

On the positive side, the weather for the next week will be cloudy and rainy, so who wants to be out anyway?

2 April 2020 – Swimming is not allowed!

Alongside all other measures, it has been officially announced that swimming and any other activity is not allowed. This includes spearfishing, fishing, and snorkelling.

I really hope that this is over in summer, as snorkelling is my favourite activity… This was a lovely beach on Andros island where we went last summer.

An introduction to the Greek islands - Korth beach Andros

Apart from that, it has also been announced that restrictions for vehicles and public transportation will remain in place until the 31st of May.

As an example, only up to two people (driver + passenger) can travel in a normal vehicle. Exceptions are made for parents with young children, though we have not found an official source giving more information.

29 March 2020 – It is quite certain that the quarantine will go on for much longer

A couple more changes have been announced in the past few days. It is expected that the quarantine will go on for much of April. With spring around the corner, this will be a challenge…

Spring in Athens Greece

Flights to and from the Netherlands and Germany have also been suspended.

It has also been announced that shops and churches will remain closed until at least 11 April.

On the positive side, certain public services such as issuing doctor prescriptions are now available online. It looks like the coronavirus has sped up some processes… This is just one example.

Finally, the limit for contactless payments without the use of a PIN number has now been raised to 50 euro. This is to minimize physical contact as much as possible and it will remain in place until the end of May.

25 March 2020 – Greece Independence Day

Today it was Greece’s Independence Day. This is normally celebrated with massive parades all over Greece. Obviously, today there were none! Still, you can look at what the Changing of the Guards here in Athens looks like.

Evzones in Athens - Changing of the Guards

It has been announced that supermarkets will be open Monday – Friday 7:00-21:00, Saturday 7:00-20:00, and closed on Sundays.

Pharmacies will be open according to the area. The pharmacies in Athens, Thessaloniki and Achaia / Patra area will be open from 9:00-17:00. Full news here (in Greek).

23 March 2020 – No more flights to and from the UK / Turkey, Aegean suspends all international flights

Also, Aegean / Olympic airlines have announced the suspension of all their international flights from 26 March to 30 April. Domestic routes will also be limited.

A small number of Aegean flights from Athens to Brussels will still run. This is in order to maintain the country’s connectivity with the EU’s administrative center.

Furthermore, as of midnight tonight, there will be no more flights from Greece to and from the UK or Turkey.

Forms to be completed when going out from 23 March to 6 April

From 6 am Monday 23 March until 6 am Monday 6 April, all residents will be required to fill in a form whenever they are going somewhere. Those who are going out for reasons that are not work, can also send an sms.

There are two different forms, which you can find at forma.gov.gr. The first form (form A) concerns employees, and they must fill in the form (no sms option for this). The second form (form B) concerns all other movement.

Note that, in case of moving around by car, a maximum of 2 adults are allowed in the car. It is also ok for one adult to drive with two underage children. As for taxis, there can only be one passenger. Exceptions can be made if there is a patient who needs someone to help them.

All information is available on the forma website. We hope there will be an official translation soon. In the meantime, this may help.

EDIT – THE OFFICIAL FORMS HAVE NOW BEEN UPLOADED IN ENGLISH

Employed people / people who are going out for work purposes should fill in this form

If you are going out for work purposes, go to this section Πάγια βεβαίωση κίνησης (Τύπου Α) and download the PDF document.

Complete this form if you are an employee

Complete as follows:

  • First row – Name, surname
  • Second row – Father’s name
  • Third row – Name of company
  • Fourth row – ID number / passport number
  • Fifth row – Your region

If you are working in the same office every day, check the first box [   ] ίδια εταιρεία / φορέα

If you are moving around offices, check the second box [   ] άλλη εταιρεία / φορέα and complete the next three rows as follows:

  • First row – Name  of company
  • Second row – Name of manager / other responsible person
  • Third row – Manager’s telephone no

Finally, you should complete your office hours here. The first row indicates am times, the second row indicates pm times. If you are working from 9 am to 5 pm, complete the first blank with 9 and the fourth blank with 5.

Hours of work

This will need to be stamped by your employer. Sign the form under the word Υπογραφή. You’re done…

People going out for reasons other than work, should fill in this form

If you are going out for reasons not related to work, you have the option to either fill in the official form, handwrite it yourself, or send an sms.

You can download the official form at Βεβαίωση Κατ’ Εξαίρεση Μετακίνησης Πολιτών (PDF) 

Complete this form for any other errand

Complete it as follows:

  • First row – Your name and surname
  • Second row – Date of birth
  • Third row – Your address
  • Fourth row – Time of moving

Then tick one of the boxes below, as follows

  1. Pharmacy or doctor’s appointment, if this is necessary
  2. Shopping for goods, where delivery isn’t possible {really this is for supermarkets and other food shops, also fuel shops}
  3. Going to the bank, if e-banking is not possible
  4. Going to help other people in need
  5. Going to a funeral, wedding, christening / Movement of divorced or separated parents that is necessary for parent-children communication
  6. Exercising or walking a pet, including 1 or max 2 people together, who will have a space of 1.5 metres between them

Then complete the next three rows as follow

  • First row – City
  • Second row – Date
  • Third row – Name

Don’t forget to sign on the right, under the word Υπογραφή

What if I don’t have a printer?

If you don’t have a printer, or if you can’t read or write Greek, you can also write on a piece of paper the following

  • Name and surname
  • Address
  • Reason for going out (with the choices above)
  • Address of place you are going to
  • Date and time of day
  • Signature

Yep, good old-fashioned hand-writing will do the trick…

You can also send a FREE sms text

Another way you can do it, is by sending a FREE sms to 13033. The message should have the following format

X [space] Name [space] Surname [space] Address

X will be a number from 1 to 6, with the choices above.

You should then get a message back, that you need to keep on your phone and show it, if asked for it, along with your ID.

This is probably the easiest one…

Sunday 22 March 18:00 – Greece going into lockdown

Unfortunately, this time the rumours were true. Stricter rules will be in place as of 6 am on Monday 23 March, as just announced by the prime minister.

People can go out for the following reasons
– Going to and from work
– Going to buy food or medication
– Visiting a doctor or a person who needs assistance
– Exercising, one or two people
– Walking with a pet

People who are currently in urban areas are allowed to head to their permanent residence.

In any case, everyone should have their ID / passport on them. People who don’t comply with the new regulations will be facing a 150 euro fine.

There can be no more than 2 people per vehicle.

The reason for moving around has to be stated on either a document provided by the employer, or a personal declaration. More information and details will be announced at 7 pm tonight.

Saturday 21 March – A few more changes announced

It has been announced that schools, universities and other educational institutions will remain closed until Friday 10 April.

Furthermore, the train company has announced that there will be fewer routes from Athens to Thessaloniki and vice versa. Other routes will be modified as well. The trains that will be running on the Athens – Thessaloniki route are 52, 56, 58 and 53, 57, 59.

More changes announced for markets, supermarkets and parks – Friday 20 March 19:00

More changes have been announced…

Street markets will remain closed on Saturday 21 March. From Monday 23 March onwards, they will operate with fewer stalls.

As of Monday, supermarkets will only allow one person per 15 square metres.

Pedion tou Areos, Finopoulou Alsos and Attikon Alsos will remain closed. So will entrances to Imittos mountain.

It is still ok to go for a walk / run on our own or with one more person.

Watch full video (in Greek) here

Ferries to the islands will only carry permanent residents – Friday 20 March 16:30

It has been officially announced that ferries will only carry people who live permanently on the islands, as well as supply trucks. Visitors and tourists will not be allowed to board. To get a ticket you will be required to show proof from Taxisnet (the Greek tax system).

Ferries in Greece will only carry permanent residents

The new measure will come into effect as of tomorrow Saturday 21 March, 06:00. Visitors can still leave the islands.

Flights from / to Greece will not be stopped for now – Thursday 19 March 22:30

Despite rumours of flights from and to Greece being stopped, there has been no official announcement. There are a few exceptions like Italy and Spain.

Earlier in the day, there were relevant reports, but so far nothing has changed. Still, the government has clearly stated that news can change by the minute, so watch this space.

We will update this post if there are more news.

All flights to and from Greece to be cancelled

 

All hotels in Greece to close down – Thursday 19 March 16:00

It has just been announced that hotels everywhere in Greece will shut down until the 30th April. This includes hotels that operate 12 months per year. This will go into effect as of midnight Sunday 22 March.

One hotel per capital of regional unit will remain open, with three hotels remaining open for Athens and Thessaloniki.

Online supermarkets in Greece

Given the situation, we’ve put together a list of supermarkets where you can shop online if you need to. Unfortunately, not all of them have an option in English. Also, many of them are fully booked for several days – but it doesn’t hurt to try.

If you are looking for delivery stores, we can recommend E-Food and Wolt. You can find many restaurants of all types, from souvlaki to gourmet food. Some menus are in English.

Greece Coronavirus update – Wednesday 18 March 19:00

Following rumours flying around since earlier today, the following official announcement has been made.

Meetings of over 10 people will be banned as of tomorrow, Thursday 19 March. People who don’t respect this will be facing a 1,000 euro fine per person.

It is strictly recommended to stay at home [the Greek words used were “αυστηρή σύσταση”]. Exceptions are work, food shopping, pharmacies, doctors, post office, banks, fuel, giving help to others. This is our Source for now, and we will update it with the official Gazette (ΦΕΚ) when it comes out.

Enjoying the sun on the balcony!

Enjoying the sun on the balcony

Coronavirus update Greece – Tuesday 17 March 19:30

It has been announced that non EU-nationals will not be allowed into the country unless there is a very important work or family reason. People in transit will be allowed to enter.

This is going into effect from 06:00 on Wednesday 18 March until 06:00 on Saturday 18 April. Full article here. You can download the official statement (in Greek) at ΦΕΚ/916/Β/17-3-2020.

Our suggestion is the following –

Travel to Greece

Coronavirus in Greece – Update Tuesday 17 March 10:00

After long discussions, the government has decided last night that religious masses will no longer happen in any places of worship all around the country. The churches will remain open for individual prayer. The measure is in effect until 30 March 2020.

Inside a Greek orthodox church

For anyone who knows the extent to which the Greek Orthodox religion is tied to Greek culture, this is extraordinary! [In our view, it was the right decision to make, especially with Greek Easter around the corner].

If you can read Greek, you can download the official statement – ΦΕΚ 872/Β/16-3-2020

Greece Coronavirus update – Shops operating as of 18 March 2020

More shops will be closed as of Wednesday 18 March. The below list will be updated with all relevant clarifications if new measures are passed.

  • Supermarkets > 7:00 to 22:00 daily and 9:00 to 17:00 Sundays
  • Bakeries, butchers, fruit and veg shops etc
  • Mini markets and kiosks
  • Street markets > for food and certain household items like toilet paper
  • Delivery restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Fuel stations
  • Car services
  • Banks
  • Telecommunications shops > not for retail, just for paying bills
  • Courier / Post office
  • Pet shops
  • Opticians

A well-stocked supermarket in Athens during coronavirus

You can download the official statement (in Greek) at ΦΕΚ/915/Β/17-3-2020.

The government spokesperson stressed that freedom of movement within the country is not being restricted. She also emphasized that people should not listen to rumours.

Greece Coronavirus update – People coming to Greece from abroad to go into self-isolation

Who knew that yesterday’s news is already old…

The latest government announcement is now live, if you can speak Greek you can listen to it here.

People travelling to Greece from abroad will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Non-compliant people will be fined.

Greece Coronavirus update – Monday 16 March 2020 13:00

New measures have been announced yesterday evening, in terms of supermarkets, pharmacies and other shops that are still operating.

There should be no more than one person per 10 square metre area. The suggestion given is to keep 2 metres distance from each other. Businesses are being asked to keep hand sanitizing liquid readily available for customers to use.


Latest updates on Coronavirus in Greece here: Coronavirus Greece


In our experience, the supermarkets and smaller shops in our area have already started imposing the regulations. The stores were actually less busy than normal.

Street markets are still operating, and sellers and customers are  asked to wear gloves. This is our new reality.

Coronavirus in Greece - Street market

On the positive side, we got some strawberries…

Transportation changes are expected in Athens, given that many of the employees will now be staying at home. You can stay informed on the OASA Telematics app. At the same time, fewer people are using the metro and buses already.

Coronavirus Greece update – Sunday 15th March 23.30

The train company has announced that they will be stopping certain routes. You can read more information in their official announcement (in Greek). This includes the early morning Athens-Thessaloniki-Athens route.

If you are taking the train anytime soon and you are not sure what’s happening, feel free to post below. As for refunds for pre-booked trips, I will try to find information, but if any of you find out, please post below!

News Coronavirus Greece 15:00 Sunday 15th March 2020

Greece has announced a few more Coronavirus measures, effective immediately

  • Cruise boats will not be allowed to dock at any Greek port
  • The borders with Albania and North Macedonia will remain closed for visitors. People living in Greece, or those with Greek citizenship, are still allowed to return. Transportation of goods is allowed.
  • As of today, ferries to Italy will not carry passengers. Cargo and transportation of goods is allowed.
  • There will be no flights from Greece to and from Spain, or Italy

Source – Kathimerini (Greek and English versions)

Breaking news 23:30 14th March 2020

Late on Saturday 14th March, the government has decided the closure of seasonal hotels and similar establishments.

The measure is put into immediate effect from 15 March to 30 April. Hotels that are already open will need to close by 23 March.

Source: www.et.gr  ΦΕΚ857/Β/2020

Organized beaches and ski resorts are also closed as of 15 March, as announced by the PM of Greece on his twitter account.


Latest updates on Coronavirus in Greece here: Coronavirus Greece


Coronavirus Measures in Greece – Official Document for closures

The government has published another official document on www.et.gr, concerning businesses in Greece. If you can read Greek, look for ΦΕΚ 855/2020/Β. Otherwise, here’s our unofficial translation.

***

The following institutions in Greece will remain closed from 14 March to 27 March:

1. Restaurants, catering businesses, bars, nightclubs, coffeeplaces, cafes, cafeterias, kafeneia and similar establishments. Businesses that offer delivery and take-away services are exempted. Similarly, bars, restaurants and cafes located in hotels, are allowed to serve their customers who are staying there, as long as they take measures to avoid overcrowding.

Closed restaurants in Greece during Coronavirus

2. Theatres, cinemas and similar businesses where performances are held.

3. All libraries in the country, public or private.

4. Museums, historical and archaeological sites and buildings, and similar visitor attractions.

5. Private gambling businesses (casinos, card clubs, lottery businesses). People selling lottery tickets on the street are exempted, as are online gambling websites.

6. Gyms and similar facilities. Athletes preparing for the Olympic Games are exempted.

7. Fun fairs, flea markets and commercial exhibitions. Outdoors recreational spaces and public exercise spaces will remain open.

8. Amusement arcades and any other space offering similar entairtainment.

9. Hair salons, barbers, beauty salons, and similar places, such as massage studios.

10. Tattoo and piercing studios.

11. Personal escort services.

12. Shopping malls, large outlets, shops operating with a “shop-in-a-shop” policy.

Any of these businesses are allowed to operate without the presence of public.

At all points of service, every measure will be taken so that the maximum number of people in a queue is 5.

***

If you can read Greek, you can also have a look at this document, which was published yesterday on Skai.

Greece coronavirus measures COVID-19

What do the Coronavirus measures in Greece mean in practice?

As you will see from the above, the places that have shut down could potentially host a large number of people simultaneously. The idea is to avoid any form of congregation, especially indoors.

For the time being, supermarkets, minimarkets, cornershops, kiosks, street food markets (laikes), bakeries and patisseries will remain open. This applies also for supermarkets which are located within shopping malls. The Varvakios Central market will also be open.

Banks and pharmacies will also operate. However, banks are already e-mailing their customers encouraging them to use web-banking. Pharmacies on the other hand will only allow 2 people at any given time. We have already seen people queuing outside!

The Greek government is asking everyone to stay at home, and to avoid unnecessary trips. All people, but especially those belonging to the high-risk groups, are urged to stay in and respect the newly founded measures.

At the moment of writing, 45 businesses were found open by the police, despite the measures, and were all closed down.

The prime minister has announced that further measures may be introduced. Watch this space!

Should I visit Greece with the COVID-19?

Two weeks ago, everything was absolutely fine over here. In fact, during the first days of March, I visited quite a few museums and sites!

Vanessa in front of the Parthenon on the Acropolis

As you’ve realized with the above though, our reality today is totally different. Seasonal hotels have been instructed to close down until 30 April. Whether this includes all-year-round hotels and airbnbs is unclear at this moment, but we will update the article as soon as there is a firm answer.

As a visitor, you will still have access to food, either in your hotel’s restaurant or take-away / delivery. However, you won’t be able to visit any of the tourist attractions. Furthermore, as our reality changes day by day, no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

For example, flights to and from Italy have been suspended as of today. Yesterday, a few cruise lines have cancelled their routes to Greece until the beginning of May.

Our suggestion is to postpone your trip. As you can imagine, there is no way anyone could give you accurate advice for when things are going to be any better. However, Greece will need you more than ever after this is over. Keep that in mind!

The Coronavirus in Athens – We are staying in! 

As for us, we are staying in as of today unless we absolutely must go out. Admittedly, we went for a cheeky little walk on the beach this morning – spring is on its way.

A beach close to Athens Greece

Who knows? Maybe in a few days from now we will all be locked down, like Italy or Spain. We wish all the best for our Mediterranean neighbours.

We hope that things will get back to normal (whatever normal is in our country!) as quickly as possible. At the same time, we will follow the government’s guidelines, and we will strongly encourage others to do the same. #stayhome

In the meantime, you can read some of our previous guides for Greece, to mentally prepare for your next holiday in Greece!

 

37 comments

  1. This Should give everyone time to clean up and discenfect their businesses inside and out, including taxis, taxi boats etc “if everyone pulls together and makes an effort “ it can only help reduce the spread of the C.Virus…A World wide clean up week is needed…

    1. Exactly! The most important thing is to leave this behind as soon as possible. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon, and visitors can enjoy our beautiful country!

    1. Thank you! Well we are pretty much stuck at home so we have to write something hahah! Please feel free to share the blog with anyone who is planning a trip to Greece in the future!

        1. You are right, there was one death in Zante like you say. It’s so hard to keep on top of everything. I have decided not to post specific numbers as there are official sources for this, the purpose of this article is to help out people who either live in Greece and can’t speak Greek or were planning to travel here.

    1. Hi Ann,
      Dave replying here – I was also due to go back at the beginning of April for a week. I’ve decided not to bother.

  2. Clean the estsblishments bars cafe’s parks etc clean the graffitti (some areas are like the Bronx) empyy the rubbish and tidy up a few of the deplorable areas which we all know and bring back some pride to this basically lovely country and bring the tourists back safely and in numbers.

    1. As New Zealanders here in Greece cruising on our boat, we wholeheartedly agree with this. Greece is one of the most amazing places in the world, with friendly, happy, caring people. We often wonder at the amount of rubbish everywhere and everyday we do a rubbish clean up of the beach or parkside, unbelievable how much we can collect, 2 people 1 hour, imagine if there were 10 people 1 hour, every day, the difference it would make. Lets clean up Greece, lets have pride in this beautiful country. Community effort. Those plastic take out coffee cups with a straw and plastic dome lid need to be banned, water bottles, don’t need water in a bottle, jug on the table is far more appealing. Please please think about this. We love Greece.

      1. I had the same thought when I travelled to SE Asia… and I try as much as I can to avoid single-use plastic. I also clean up the beaches!! Are you currently here?

  3. Dear friends,
    Given the general concerns about the COVID19
    we realize that some of our clients are likely to change their travel schedule hurriedly while others hesitate to book their car.
    That is why we have decided to simplify the process of these changes. So we are adjusting our cancellation policy.
    If clients wish to change the dates of their reservation, or cancel it they can do so without losing the deposit they have already paid provided that they will notify us of the change up to one day (24 hours) prior to arrival for obvious practical reasons.

    1. The latest news I can find on the islands is that there were 3 cases in Crete, out of 331 in Greece. I haven’t read anything about Rhodes or any of the other islands. I really hope there aren’t any cases there, as most of the islands have difficult access to hospitals. Hopefully in July all of this will be over!!

  4. I’m due to fly out on 24th april from uk flying into heraklion to stay with friends for 11 days , im hoping the flight will still go ahead, is heraklion airport still getting flights to & from the uk ?

    1. For the time being (16 March noon), there is no announcement for Heraklion airport, but the 24th April is so far away that it’s impossible to tell! Please keep checking!

    1. There is no official announcement or further info for when the schools will be reopening. It looks like we will have to live on a day-to-day basis…!

    1. Thanks for your message Tatiana, you should get in touch with your agent or hotel and see all available options. Hoping for the best!

  5. Thank you for all the information given found it very helpful. I live here on Rhodes and to many stories going around . So again my thanks .

    1. You are welcome. We are being very careful as to what we report, which is why we are always giving official sources, however it’s impossible to be on top of everything.

  6. I’m due to fly out on 12th april from uk flying into Athens for 5 night’s im hoping the flight will still go ahead, is Athens airport still getting flights to & from the uk ?

    1. For the time being yet, but a 14-day quarantine has just been announced (16 March 15.00). Not sure when it will come into effect as it wasn’t announced on the press conference, but it will definitely be very soon.

    1. Yes, it was announced about an hour ago. All non-EU citizens will not be allowed into the country as of Wednesday 18 March, 06:00. Please check the updated post above.

  7. I have twin 2-year olds. Can I take them, one at a time around the block or are we only allowed to take our pets out? Obviously we will need to be less than 1.5 meters apart.

    1. You can exercise in pairs, so it’s definitely fine to have one child with you. I would assume that they would make an exception on the 1.5 metres apart, and just earlier today they announced that you can have up to two children in your car.

  8. Who are tourists and have arrived before this closure and stay close in city because not have hall back ..what doo

    1. I am not sure where you are from or where you live permanently. If you want to leave Greece, it might be best to talk to your embassy.

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