Traveling to Greece – COVID-19 Updates
Greece is an ancient East European country with a rich history and culture. The earliest democracy can be traced to Athens, the city’s historic rival of Sparta built one of the most powerful militaries of its time and the Greeks played a major role in shaping Roman culture. Arguably, the Greeks — alongside the Romans — were crucial in molding Western civilization to its contemporary form.
While COVID-19 travel restrictions were and are certainly in effect, Greece was much more progressive about opening compared to other European powers and some American states. The country is under a curfew, but Greece has otherwise been friendly towards reopening for business and tourism.
Greece welcomed U.S. travelers in mid-April of 2021, almost a year after most U.S. states lifted their stay-at-home orders. By late June of 2021, cruise lines will begin to reopen, which will likely be highly beneficial to the Greek economy. Restaurants, museums, and other entertainment venues are beginning to be fully reopened without masking, social distancing or other COVID restrictions.
Unlike many European countries, foreigners from certain destinations are not required to self isolate — provided they can show proof of full vaccination or a negative test for the coronavirus. Notably, children under the age of 5 are exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements in Greece.
Like many other countries, the U.S. State Department and the CDC have issued Level 4 advisories against travel and warnings of very high concentrations of COVID-19, respectively.
If you are a native U.S. resident or an immigrated American citizen interested in traveling to Greece, read this section.
While tourism is opening for foreigners in many parts of the world, citizens of the United States are not included yet. Previously, travel to Greece required self isolation. This requirement is now lifted for those who can present proof of full vaccination or a negative test for coronavirus.
Also, while isolation is not required for U.S. citizens and other select countries, there are several principles of defense that must be adhered to. First, there must be proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Those who test positive will be isolated. You may be selected for a rapid test, and tourism workers must be vaccinated. Lastly, safety protocols such as masking and distancing may be observed.
The future of traveling to Greece after COVID-19 seems very optimistic. Many European countries have been easing lockdown and travel restrictions for the past year. However, many of these benefits in EU countries will only be enjoyed by the fully vaccinated.
As pressure mounts for institutions from the local to the national to mandate vaccinations, it will certainly stir up debates about the legality, the humanity and the necessity of mandated vaccinations. As it stands, vaccinations appear the safest and quickest way to reopen the world to a level similar to where it once was.