In July 2021, new rules were introduced for entertainment venues throughout Greece. These include restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, theatres, stadiums etc. Here’s all you need to know if you are in Greece in Summer 2021.
Restrictions in Greece
This article about summer 2021 will no longer be updated. If you are travelling in Greece from 13 September 2021 onwards, please refer to these two articles:
If you’re visiting Greece, and only intend to eat outdoors at tavernas, drink outdoors at cafes or all-day bars, and go to the beach, you’ve got nothing to think about. Life goes on as normal!
If, however, you planned to go to a nightclub, a sporting event, a concert, or an indoor restaurant, things get a little more complicated.
Some of these venues will only allow entrance to fully vaccinated people, or those who have contracted Covid in the past few months.
Here’s a look at the ever-evolving rules and measures around Greece for Summer 2021. The article was last updated on 25 August 2021.
If you are travelling to Greece after 13 September, here is everything you need to know: Restrictions in Greece for autumn / winter 2021-2022.
Venues in Greece will be split into two groups
Entertainment venues in Greece will effectively be split into two groups.
Group A venues will only allow entrance to people who
- have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to visiting OR
- have contracted Covid in the past few months. Quoting travel.gov.gr, these people will need to have “A certificate of recovery from the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory. The certificate is issued 30 days after the day of the first positive COVID-19 test and is valid for 180 days after it.”
Owners of these venues will ask to see the QR code in your certificate, which they can scan in an app. You will also need to have some form of ID. Foreign visitors who don’t have a document with a QR code will need to show their certificate of vaccination, along with ID.
People under 18 years old can visit Group A venues with a negative self-test result, along with a statement from their parents. Self tests are currently available at pharmacies in Greece, at a cost of around 5 – 8 euro. The government Gazette currently doesn’t make a distinction for people 12-17 or under 12 years old – I will update this section if there is any change.
You can read more about Covid-19 testing in Greece in this article.
Group B venues can accept people without the need for a vaccine or test. However, the owners of certain Group B venues will be given a choice to only allow vaccinated customers, or those who have previously contracted Covid.
Let’s see which venues fall into each category:
Group A – Indoors entertainment venues, all clubs and all stadiums
Group A establishments will only allow entrance to people who have been fully vaccinated or have previously contracted Covid. This applies to the following types of venues:
- Indoors restaurants, tavernas and cafes
- Indoors cinemas, theatres and live concert venues
- Both indoors and outdoors clubs and nightclubs
- Both indoors and outdoors sports stadiums
Customers of these venues will need to remain seated, e.g. no dancing is allowed in clubs. Masks are mandatory in cinemas, theatres and stadiums.
Children and teenagers (under 18 years old) can visit these venues with a self-test, signed by the parent or guardian. The presence of the parent / guardian is not necessary. Children under 12 years old do not need an ID.
Group B – Outdoors cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, concert venues
Other venues accept people without the need for a vaccine / test. This applies to the following businesses:
- outdoors cafes / restaurants / tavernas
- open-air cinemas
- outdoors theatres and concert venues
- venues hosting wedding receptions (limit of 300 visitors, seated customers only)
However: Owners of these venues are offered the choice to be in group A, and only accept vaccinated people or those who have previously contracted the virus, if they prefer. Eitherway, these venues will need to put up a sign at the entrance, explaining which of the two groups they have chosen to belong to.
People visiting the above venues will remain to be seated, i.e. dancing at wedding receptions is not allowed. Masks are mandatory in cinemas, theatres and concert venues.
Let’s break down the rules for different types of venues where you will need a vaccine or test.
1. Clubs and nightclubs – Indoors and outdoors
All clubs and nightclubs, indoors or outdoors, will only allow entrance to vaccinated people or those who have previously contracted Covid. They will operate with seated customers only, at 85% of their maximum capacity.
2. Indoors restaurants, cafes and tavernas
These indoors venues will only allow entrance to vaccinated people or those who have previously contracted the virus. They will operate at 85% of their maximum capacity. Children under 18 will need proof of a negative self test.
3. Indoors cinemas, theatres and live music venues
These indoors venues will only allow entrance to vaccinated customers, or those who have previously contracted the virus. They will operate at 85% of their maximum capacity. Any children under 18 years old will need proof of a negative self test.
Masks will be mandatory, and customers will need to remain seated.
Note that all-day outdoors cafes like the one above fall under a different category. No vaccination or tests are needed for those.
4. Outdoors cafes, restaurants, tavernas, cafe – bars
Outdoors tavernas, restaurants and cafes have been open since May. As of July 16th, they are given two choices: either accommodate only vaccinated people and people who have contracted Covid, or be open to everyone.
If you want to pre-book a restaurant, check their policy in advance. If you are more spontaneous when choosing where to eet in Greece, just show up and ask.
Here’s an article for food in Greece with 50 of our most popular dishes!
5. Outdoors theatres, concerts, performances
Owners of these venues are given a choice. They can either allow entrance to vaccinated people / people who have contracted Covid, or to everyone, irrespective of their status. Check with the individual venue you are interested in.
All theatres in Greece where performances are held, like the theatre of Epidaurus or Herodion, will need to readjust their policies based on the new information. Here are some more info about ancient theatres in Greece.
6. Sports stadiums
People can only attend a sports event if they have been vaccinated or have previously contracted Covid. Children and teenagers under 18 will need to have a negative self test in order to attend.
Stadiums will be allowed to accommodate up to 80% of their capacity, and masks will be mandatory.
7. Renting a private venue for events or parties
The following is explicitly mentioned in the Gazette: It is prohibited to rent a private venue for the purpose of organizing events, for any type of fee. Fines are pretty high, starting from 50,000 euro!
Frequently asked questions for entertainment in Greece Summer 2021
Here are some more clarifications:
When will these restrictions apply?
These restrictions will initially apply from 16 July to 31 August.
How do I know which group each venue falls into?
Some venues, e.g. nightclubs, will only allow entrance to customers with either a vaccination certificate or proof that they have contracted Covid-19. There will be a special sign at the entrance:
What will happen if an unvaccinated person wants to enter an indoors restaurant, bar etc?
Entry will be prohibited.
What about children and teenagers under 18 years old?
Children and teenagers will need to take a self-test, available at pharmacies. Their parent / guardian needs to sign this form, explaining that the test is negative.
Are these measures also mandatory for employees?
No. This is only for customers, equally for locals and tourists.
Can we dance at weddings?
With the current regulations, only seated customers are allowed to go to wedding banquets, and dancing is not allowed.
How about archaeological sites, museums and caves?
Independent travellers can visit archaeological sites and museums without the need for a vaccine / test. However, if you are planning to visit on a guided tour with a large group, further rules may apply for anyone over 12 years old. Your tour company should update you on this, but make sure you doublecheck.
Check out some older articles about ancient sites and museums in Greece:
- Free museums in Athens
- Ancient Athens combined ticket
- Delphi in Greece
- Ancient Olympia in the Peloponnese
- The cave of Antiparos
For any questions, feel free to comment below!
Hi, I’m Vanessa from Athens! I hope this information will help anyone living in Greece, or travelling here in summer 2021. Please also check this article, for some more information, including how to travel in Greece. For any questions, feel free to comment below. This article has last been updated on 25 August 2021. I will keep this article alive for all of summer 2021, so you can come back to it now and then. Please share with anyone who might find it helpful, and follow my FB page for more updates!