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Greece reveals health protocols for flights and hotels in summer 2020

Tourism Minister, Haris Theoharis, revealed the health protocols for flights and hotels Greece plans to implement during the tourism season in summer 2020, once the country opens its borders to tourists amid the pandemic.

Speaking at an online event of the youth organization of ruling New Democracy, Theoharis stressed that the pandemic makes the setting of rules for the tourists’ arrivals necessary and that these health protocols must be respected.

He said that the health protocols have been prepared in collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Commission of the Greek National Health Organization EODY.

These protocols have already been submitted to tourism agencies for consultation and submission of proposals on their side, the Minister added.


In order for a passenger to board a flight from abroad to Greece, he must have received a health certificate within the last 72 hours that he is not a carrier of COVID-19.  Without this certificate, he will not be allowed to board.

There will be no vacant seats on flights to, from or within Greece, ie their capacity will be full so that air transport is economically viable.

Passengers will not be served food for flights for up to four hours, but only packaged snacks.

Greeks who want to travel abroad should also be tested 72 hours before boarding the plane.

Greece’s request is that no COVID-19 test be conducted when tourists leave Greece. Tourists should be tested when they return to their own countries.

Tourists will leave the country without any control, so that there will be no risk of being trapped in the country and stay in quarantine. “After all, this would be a disincentive to choosing our country as a holiday destination,” the minister said.


“Quarantine hotels” in every tourist area

The Ministry of Tourism will rent a tourist accommodation in each tourist area of ​​the country which will function as a “quarantine hotel.” Tourists who are found to be carriers of the coronavirus will be transferred there.

Each hotel or tourist accommodation will be obliged to contract with a doctor, who will determine whether a tourist must undergo a COVID-19 test. The diagnosis will be either live or via telemedicine.

The test results will be released within six hours so that anyone who is tested positive can be transferred to “quarantine hotels”.

Special training  in hygiene rules will be provided to the staff of each hotel.

There will be no buffets in the hotels, except in small hotels.

Sunbeds will be installed at a safety distance to each other and will have a disposable cover for each swimmer.

Revenues, bilateral agreements

Regarding the revenues from tourism, Theoharis said that last year revenues were 18 billion euros. “This year we will have at most 8 billion euros,” the minister said.

He announced bilateral agreements with countries such as Bulgaria, Israel, Cyprus, for the free passage and return of Greek tourists.

For more information on tourism in Greece amid the pandemic click here.

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  1. It is obvious, Greece wants to save as mush as they can from the remaining tourist season. And why shouldnt they. But I am afraid mr. Theoharris is taking some shortcuts to achieve this.

    First, there is NOWAY i can get a corona test in the Netherlands to prove I have no Covid, so I can travel. The available tests in my country are for medical staff and the sick. Not to mention this will add another 180 euro per person to your holiday budget if a test would be possible.

    Mr. Theoharris can NOT decide if a flight from Amsterdam is full to the max or that only a limited number of seats is sold to keep the social,distancing of 1.5 meter. In the Netherlands this rule is also introduced in local trains and busses. So we WILL pay a lot more for our tickets.

    England will start to put english travelers into 14 day quarantine after coming back from any destination abroad. So after your Greek holidays 14 days home arrest.

    Greece asks for a health certificate. What if the countries of origin do the same before the tourist wants to travel home.

    So, do you really think tourists can meet these requirements and arrive by the thousands to spend their holidays in Greece? Asking for a health certificate is understandable but a major reason not to travel to Greece

    • If you can’t get a test you will not be able to enter Greece. End of.

      • Barbara Raesis

        The test! You can test negative one day, and 24 hours later test positive. The test is in no way going to be performed with results within 72 hours. It takes me about 22 hours of flight to get from my home in Texas to Athens.

    • Barbara Raesis

      In Texas we have to be sick to have a test. Plus I have to leave Houston, transfer in Frankfurt, then onward to Athens. Why can’t the Greek airport perform the test as they are doing now. I would gladly quarantine for 14 days. My family there would be happy!

  2. What is our government thinking of they should have stopped flights coming in to the UK when lockdown started. We are going to Greece in July how on earth are they going to monitor us after coming home.it seems the lunatics are running the asylum

    • I am gutted that I haven’t been able to visit Crete this year. I also have a booking in September but doubting that will go ahead either. Testing 72hrs before travel is unrealistic. Also if have to quarantine for 14 days on returning to UK, I very much doubt employers will be happy to cover pay for that period as it would have been employees choice to proceed with travel.
      Sadly I think this year will be a travel free one!

  3. Gerrit – I understand your worries, but it is far too early to worry about tests and about going into a 14 day quarantine when you return to the Netherlands after visiting Greece. It does, of course, depend on which month you will be travelling. If you are talking about September or October for instance, the whole situation might be different. There might be more and easier testing, the quarantine rule might have been lifted etc etc

    Actually, if I could possibly go to Greece for 2 weeks I would willingly go into quarantine for 14 days when I return to England!

  4. what happens if you visit a friend or stay in your own Greek house….??

  5. There is not a chance in hell of getting a corona virus test within 72 hours in the UK. You have all on getting a doctors appointment within 2 weeks. Also if you do manage to be tested going out, then the Greek government should arrange testing prior to returning home. Who would want to be on an aircraft for 4 hours with someone who caught this in Greece. Greek government trying to save money on testing. I can’t blame them for wanting to protect their economy and people but this seems to be saying “Get a test before you come out, spend your money, after that we are not interested in whether you have Covid 19 when you get back onto the aircraft to infect your fellow passengers.” I think Mr Theoharris needs to re evaluate his plans or there won’t be many UK tourists arriving in Greece.

  6. I have a place in Greece and i would be more than happy if all flight were made to go back to normal seating like in the early 90s , Monarc and Cyprus airways every seat was like extra leg room , it was the airlines that started to cram them in . also i would happy if the trolly dollies did not come round every second selling what you don’t need . you could also go to the toilet with out following the trolly you and down
    one less stewardess replaced with cleaner for the toilets would be better use it clean it
    do these things and i would be happy to pay more

  7. sorry but being a greek I have to say that these are rules that only a small child could have ever thought of.
    First of all most greek hotels are either bankrupt or on the verge of being bankrupt. Greece is literally begging for money right now as the tourism industry is all it has. Implementing these rules when more than half of the tourist season is lost will only put more artificial barriers to people wanting to visit Greece especially when tourists could visit other countries without all these requirements.
    Finally let me just note that small greek hotels may open on the 1st of June, however the big ones will probably open well after the 15th of June.

    • The Greek government is thinking , first of all , to the health of the Greeks . And I am totally agree with it .

  8. Mark van den Eshof

    I agree with Gerrit, there are no test available in the Netherlands
    We trravelled before with a declaration from our doctor that we have no signs of Corona and no temparature etc, but if thats not enough we cant go to Greece

    Does somebody knows what this means? It looks like a wrong translation:

    There will be no vacant seats on flights to, from or within Greece, ie their capacity will be full so that air transport is economically viable.

  9. Christine Miles

    We have lived in Greece permanently for 5 years and rent out a house to tourists. The Greek government have dealt with the situation here incredibly well and we totally understand the measures they are taking regarding visiting Greece. We have already lost money from cancellations but that is a small price to pay to protect the people who live here. All tourists are very welcome if they follow the rules and have the test before flying. If your country doesn’t offer this then it’s not the fault of Greece. We dont want the huge cases of COVID19 here like some other countries so please stop moaning about the fact that we have these rules when possibly your country of residence doesn’t offer the required test for you to visit here. It’s not unreasonable, it’s a requirement to try and keep everyone safe.