On 18 November, the Greek prime minister announced the new Covid restrictions which will be in place from 22 November 2021. Here is everything you need to know if you are in Greece for winter 2021 – 2022.
Summary of Covid restrictions in Greece for November – December 2021
Here is a summary of the Covid restrictions in Greece which are in place for adults, from 22 November 2021 onward:
Supermarkets, food markets, pet shops, pharmacies and urban public transportation are accessible to everyone, without the need of a certificate or test.
Indoor cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums, stadiums will only be accessible with a certificate of vaccination / recovery.
All other indoor venues, outdoor cafes and restaurants and inter-regional transport can be accessed with a certificate of vaccination / recovery, OR PCR / rapid test, taken max 72 / 48 hours before visiting.
Thanks to “Paros Life & Naxos Life” for translating this official table
In all venues where a certificate is needed for adults, children and teenagers aged 4-17 can enter with a PCR test / rapid test / self-test, taken max 72 / 48 / 24 hours before their visit. Children under 4 years old do not need to produce any documents.
All customers will need to show their documents as described above, along with their ID or other proof of name and age.
Masks remain mandatory in all indoor venues and in crowded outdoors areas. This applies for everyone aged 4 and above, whether they have been vaccinated or not.
Masks are also mandatory in private cars, unless the passengers belong to the same family (1st and 2nd degree relatives) or live in the same household.
EU and non-EU Covid certificates
A certificate of vaccination is considered valid when 14 days have elapsed since the last dose of vaccination. You can find the latest list of accepted vaccines on the official Greek travel website. Among others, they include Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Johnson + Johnson etc.
Documentation checks for Greek and other EU certificates are usually made with a special app, called the Covid-Free app. You can have your certificate in either paper, or digital form, along with your ID.
Tip: If you are an EU-vaccination certificate holder, you can download the Covid Free Wallet app, and keep all your family’s certificates in one place. You will still need to show proof of ID.
If you have been vaccinated outside the EU, the Covid-free app will not scan your documents. In this case, the employee will check them visually instead. It’s best to bring them in paper (rather than digital) form alongside proof of your ID.
Despite what the store employee might say, non-EU certificates are perfectly valid. If for some reason you are not allowed entry, ask to see the manager, and point out the below statement from the Government Gazette, where these restrictions are officially published.
Rough translation: “Alternatively, if the above certificates are displayed by a non-EU citizen, the employees shall verify the certificates in paper form, while also checking the holder’s ID”. Try to persist, until the message comes across.
In addition, you can point out this helpful link (in Greek), saying the same thing. While I can’t guarantee this will work, hopefully it will gradually educate store owners.
Certificate of recovery from Covid
A certificate of recovery from Covid is considered valid if the person was tested positive with Covid-19 in the past 30 to 180 days.
Accepted documents are a positive PCR / antigen test result, or a medical certificate confirming that the person was tested positive.
PCR / rapid antigen tests
Customers who do not have a certificate of vaccination / recovery can use a negative PCR / rapid antigen test to enter some (but not all) venues.
A PCR test is valid for 72 hours, normally costs 40-60 euro, and you can take it at medical labs.
A rapid antigen test is valid for 48 hours, costs 10 euro, and you can take it at medical labs and most pharmacies, some of which might ask you for an appointment.
Note that, in order for the test result to be registered officially, you will need to have an AMKA / pAMKA / PLF. Your test result will need to be scanned.
Covid restrictions for people over 60 years old
In his announcement, the PM stated that people over 60 years of age will be required to take a booster dose, administered within 7 months of their last dose. Otherwise, their vaccination certificate will be invalid from 13 December.
More clarification will be provided closer to the time, so come back to this article for all updates.
Let’s break down the three different types of venues in Greece:
A. Venues where no certificate / test is needed
Customers can visit the following venues and businesses with no vaccination certificate or test:
- All other grocery stores (e.g. bakeries, butchers, fishmongers)
- Food markets, e.g. the Varvakios market
- Take-away cafes / restaurants / bars
- Pet shops
- All urban transportation, e.g. the Athens metro, tram and buses
Moreover, no documents are needed to visit any open-air archaeological sites, like the seven ancient sites in Athens, Ancient Epidaurus, Ancient Mycenae or Ancient Delos. If you are visiting with an organized group tour, check with your tour company as they may have further rules in place.
Note that, in order to visit museums and other enclosed spaces within the archaeological sites, you will need to produce your certificate of vaccination / recovery. Tests are not adequate for adults.
As an example, you can visit the open-air site of the Ancient Agora in Athens without any document, but in order to visit the museum in the Stoa of Attalos you will need a certificate.
B. Venues only accepting customers with certificate of vaccination / recovery
Some indoor venues will only accept adults with a certificate of vaccination / recovery. This means that rapid / PCR tests will not be accepted in these venues, for adult customers.
This applies for the following types of venues:
- Museums, galleries, archaeological sites with enclosed spaces
- Indoor cinemas, theatres, stadiums, music stages
- Indoor cafes, cafe-bars, tavernas and restaurants, including the ones in shopping malls
- Indoor play centers for children
- Gyms and sports facilities
- Conferences / Trade fairs
- Internet cafes
- Escape rooms
- Pool and bowling venues
Children and teenagers 4 – 17 years old can also visit these venues with a negative test, as described above.
C. Venues accepting customers with either a certificate or test
All other venues will be accessible to people with either a vaccination / recovery certificate, or people who can show a negative rapid antigen / PCR test, taken in the last 48 / 72 hours. This applies for the following venues:
- Public services, including KEPS and courts (with the exception of an emergency, esp. a visit to a police station)
- Banks, post offices, all utility services (e.g. DEH, EYDAP)
- Churches and religious spaces
- Outdoor tavernas, restaurants, cafes and cafe-bars
- Outdoor children’s playgrounds
- All commercial stores, including the ones in malls
- Hair salons, nail salons, beauty parlours
- Zoos and national parks (this probably refers to ticketed ones)
- Amusement parks
- Inter-regional public transportation (more on this below)
*Hotel residents who have not been vaccinated / contracted Covid might need to take more than one tests, to cover the duration of their stay. This is not clear from the Gazette, so you will need to check with your hotel.
Children and teenagers 4 – 17 years old can also visit these venues with a negative self test, as described above.
Hospitals and medical centres
People who are going for a routine visit or routine check (e.g. blood checkup) will not need to produce any of the above documents.
If you are going to the hospital for an operation, you will need to produce a certificate of vaccination / recovery or Covid test, as described above. This does not apply in a medical emergency.
The same applies for vets (as opposed to pet shops, where no documents are necessary).
Employees / workspace
Employees who have not been vaccinated will need to take two rapid tests per week at private medical labs. The rapid tests will be priced at 10 euro.
Note that those people will not be able to take advantage of the free rapid tests that are administered around the country (link in Greek).
School students will receive 2 free self tests per week. University students who have not been vaccinated will need to take 2 rapid tests per week, at their own expense.
Commercial events and gatherings
According to the official Gazette: It is forbidden to carry out any form of ticketed events, with a physical presence of a crowd of over twenty (20) people, in a private, non-commercial venue.
Travelling around Greece
In order to travel between different Regional Units in Greece, passengers over 4 years old should carry with them either a vaccination / recovery certificate, or a negative PCR / rapid test taken max 48 / 72 hours before travel.
Children aged 4-17 can also take a self test, valid for 24 hours.
The above applies for ferries, trains, planes, inter-regional KTEL buses, and tourist buses / coaches. If you are travelling with a travel company, it’s always best to ask them if they have any additional rules.
Here is more information about travelling to and around Greece.
Hello! I’m Vanessa from Athens and I’ve been following Covid restrictions in Greece since spring 2020. This article has first been posted on 20 November 2021, with information from the official Gazette (ΦΕΚ) no 5401B/20.11.2021. I will be updating this article throughout November / December 2021, so feel free to bookmark it and refer to it from time to time. You can also follow my FB page, where I post all information about Covid restrictions in Greece.