We are starting to see some big reopening action taking place around the world, with Disneyland opening its doors to out-of-state visitors and the European Union recommending that borders open for fully vaccinated tourists both starting June 15th. If you’re well on your way to full vaccination and are ready to start planning your next vacation, you might be trying to decide where to go for your first big post-pandemic adventure. So, what about planning a trip to Greece?
We’re happy to announce that Greece is now open to vaccinated travellers, and they’re eagerly awaiting for you to visit for a quarantine-free vacation. If you have a dream of getting lost (in the best of ways!) on a remote Greek island while soaking up that much-needed Mediterranean sun, or making your way up the cracked steps of the Acropolis and taking a short walk back in time, then a Greece vacation should definitely be on your travel bucket list.
Greece travel restrictions update for 2021
2021 was supposed to be big for Greece tourism. This year is actually the celebration of Greece’s 200th year of independence from the Ottoman Empire, and it looks like the country had some pretty big plans—they even got Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson to film a promotional video inviting visitors to the country. Unfortunately, they haven’t seen a lot of visitors since the video’s March 2020 release.
But before you start packing your bags and book your Greece vacation, there are a few things you should know about your next visit. Find out the current travel restrictions, entry requirements during COVID, and everything else you need to know about travelling to Greece from Canada in 2021:
- Greece’s entry requirements during COVID
- What vaccination proof do I need to travel to Greece?
- What vaccinations does the Greek government accept for entry?
- Do I still need a test before entering the country of Greece?
- What things can I do on a trip to Greece right now?
PLEASE NOTE: Restrictions implemented by airlines, such as the type of test you need to board or the vaccination proof you need to provide may not be aligned with your destination’s restrictions and entry conditions. We recommend that you double-check the latest entry and exit conditions with individual airlines, and Greece’s national guidelines.
Greece’s current entry requirements during COVID
Tourism pumped $38.1-billion (yes, with a “B”) into the Greek economy in 2019, which accounts for a hefty contribution to the country’s overall GDP. But 2020 saw a loss of over $23-billion as travel was constricted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s no surprise that Greece is eager to start welcoming visitors safely into the country.
But while Greece is now open for Canadian travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, travelling to the country isn’t the same as it was pre-pandemic. There are a few extra entry procedures that you need to be prepared for when travelling to Greece:
- Visitors arriving to Greece are required to fill out the “Passenger Locator Form” 24 hours prior to their arrival to the country. It can be found on the “Visit Greece App” or on their website.
- Visitors need to provide proof of a negative PCR test, proof of recovery certificate, a positive PCR test issued between nine and two months prior to your arrival, or have a valid vaccination certificate for travel.
- Some arrivals could be required to take a RAPID antigen test when they get there. It sounds like these tests are being conducted at random, or when someone is trying to enter the country who appears to be presenting COVID-19 symptoms.
Travellers need to be aware that if they are required to take a RAPID antigen test and that test comes back as positive, then you and your entire travel party will be required to quarantine at a hotel designated by the Greek government. They have said that the costs of your quarantine will be covered for you.
Again, please note that the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, so while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information about entering Greece, travel news and information are subject to change at any moment. Always make sure you check out the latest local government guidelines before embarking on your trip.
What vaccination proof do I need to travel to Greece?
Entry into Greece requires some form of proof that one of the things you brought along isn’t COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated—that is, you have completed your vaccine dose(s) at least 14 days prior to your arrival in Greece—you’ll need to provide a vaccination certificate provided by a health authority.
But vaccination isn’t a requirement for entry into Greece. If you are not vaccinated, you can provide a:
- Negative PCR test result that was issued no more than 72 hours before your arrival
- Certificate of recovery from COVID-19 (issued by a health authority)
- Positive PCR molecular test that was issued between nine and two months prior to your arrival
Note that there might be different requirements to board your plane to Greece, so you might have to bring along a little extra paperwork.
What vaccinations does Greece accept?
Greece’s travel website lists the following vaccinations as acceptable for entry:
- Pfizer BioNtech
- Astra Zeneca/Oxford
- Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
- Sinovac Biotech
- Gamaleya (Sputnik)
- Cansino Biologics
It should be noted that the official website included the wording “among others” but provided no additional information as to what those might be.
Do I still need to show a COVID test before travelling to Greece?
Travellers who have not completed their vaccinations are required to provide a negative PCR certificate for a test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival. This test is mandatory for all tourists, including children over 5 years of age.
However, if you have completed your vaccination, you do not need to require proof of a negative test to enter Greece. A completed vaccination means that you have taken the recommended dose(s) and 14 days have passed since your last one. You will need to hold a vaccination certificate to meet the requirements for entry.
Planning your perfect Greece vacation in 2021
From the incomparable sites of Ancient Athens to stunning island escapes for a perfect sunny getaway, Greece is everyone’s favourite travel destination. Here are some tips on planning your Greece vacation this year.
But Greece travel looks a little different these days. Some indoor museums and attractions are currently closed, and you’ll want to avoid the crowds. This long-awaited getaway could be the perfect time to find rental villas and boutique hotels in Greece and focus on slow, sustainable travel in the area.
It also goes without saying that you’ll need to adhere to local restrictions and health regulations. Not only is it lawful, but as a visitor to the country, it’s simply the respectful thing to do!
Not quite ready to travel yet? Take a virtual trip to Greece and beyond! You can experience the Acropolis in Athens, along with some other famous ancient sites right from home.
What things can I do on a trip to Greece right now?
A walking tour through the ancient city of Athens is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Greek scenery and have a better chance of observing social distancing. For more responsible travel, you might want to consider a guided audio tour of places like the Acropolis of Athens if you’re travelling solo, or a private tour for your group instead of doing something more commercial. There are plenty of great deals at Athens hotels for those staying in the area.
Get on island time! The volcanic island of Milos, Greece, is a top pick if you’re looking for a more peaceful getaway. You’ll probably want to navigate your Greece vacation away from popular summer destinations like Sarakiniko Beach, where big crowds gather especially during the high season. Many of the island’s museums are closed at the moment, but there is plenty of opportunity for private tours, once-in-a-lifetime photo ops and for you to experience the laid-back Greek lifestyle.
While you’re on the island of Milos, make sure to check out the historic Catacombs found near modern Tripiti, take a seat on the marble steps of the ancient Roman theatre, or hike up to the top of the Venetian Castle of Milos and take in the view.
Ithaca, Greece, is another favourite island destination pick if you’re looking for outdoor adventure. From taking a private island tour by boat to renting an electric scooter to explore the area, there are plenty of ways to experience the island in all of its beauty. Some highlights for a trip to Ithaca include taking a walk down what would have been the streets of the Ancient town of Alalcomenae or wander by the Cave of Nymphs.
From staying in a secluded villa and exploring a new Greek island to soaking up the vibes in Athens, a Greece vacation in 2021 can be possible! Make your travel dreams come true and start your search for flight and hotel deals to Greece and beyond.
Discover where you can go
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when travel restrictions lift and your top destinations reopen.
Where can I travel to now?
Want to read more?
- Our Coronavirus Travel Advice page is updated regularly with the latest news and information for Canadians
- Greece is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations in Europe, but there are some other exceptional places to visit as well.
- Explore somewhere new close home this summer! Here are some great Canadian wilderness destinations.