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Coronavirus NEWS/ Travel to greece

Update 9/7/20

It has been a difficult summer in which we have tried to assist our clients as much as we possibly can by deferring final balance payments were travel restrictions caused uncertainty and/or switching deposits to 2021 for those who were barred from travelling due to FCO advice and/or Greece closing its borders to flights from the UK. 

We are now pleased to report that the UK government has removed the need for Britons returning to England to quarantine on their return from Greece (effective from 10th July) and the Greek government has announced that direct flights from the UK will be allowed into all Greek airports with effect from the 15th July.

All travel from the 15th July can therefore go ahead and our standard terms and conditions attaching to your booking will apply unless you have been contacted by us directly to advise otherwise.

The situation is subject to change but please be assured we are monitoring developments in the UK and Greece very closely.   

For the latest travel information and guidance about travel to Greece please click the link below;

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece

Latest News

2nd July - Greece yesterday opened its borders to all European travellers with the exception of holidaymakers from Sweden and the United Kingdom, who are unable to fly into the country until July 15th. Brits hoping to visit Crete later this summer should note that anyone entering Greece is required to complete a mandatory form 48 hours before they land, detailing where they are travelling from and where they will be staying. Random swab tests are also being conducted at airports. The Coronavirus death toll currently stands at 192 in Greece, rising by 2 in the last fortnight.


29th June - Greece is in talks with the UK about establishing an 'air bridge' between the countries from mid-July. This arrangement would permit travel between the two nations without any need for quarantine. As part of this agreement it's hoped travellers will be exempt from a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on arrival back in the UK. Revisit this page for the very latest developments.


21st June - It's been revealed as many as 20,000 hospitality workers have received special Covid-19 protocol training ahead of an expected surge in tourism on the island. The online course was funded by the Regional Authority and has been completed by the likes of cleaners, waiters and even taxi drivers. Greece recorded 3 deaths linked to the virus in the first week of June. The country’s overall number of fatalities stands at 190, one of the lowest in the world. Read our blog for the latest developments.


16th June - The tourism season in Greece has officially begun however Britons will be made to wait a little longer before holidaying in the region following a late decision to block travel from the UK until July 1st. Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis explained the U-turn  was made in accordance with the European Commission’s recommendation to phase out travel restrictions. Check our latest blog for more information.


11th June - Greece has announced it's cutting VAT and GST on all modes of transport from 24% to 13%. This is an effort to drive tourism back to the country and its islands with cheaper flights. For the very latest on the fight against Covid-19 in the region, read our newest blog.


8th June - Talks are underway about the creation of Air Corridors, which would allow for easier passage from the UK to European holiday destinations, including Crete. For more information on this and the planned reopening of hotels, read our latest blog.


8th June - Greece has entered what it's calling the sixth phase of lifting lockdown restrictions across the country. From today casinos, internet cafes, live music venues and nightclubs will reopen, with capacity limited to 60%. Find out more in our newest blog.


2nd June - Greece has reversed its decision to exclude the United Kingdom from a list of 29 countries from which it will allow tourists this summer. Between June 15th and June 30th flights will be allowed into Athens and Thessaloniki solely. International flights will be allowed into all Greek airports from July 1st however. According to new guidelines, travellers will be required to bed down in a designated hotel upon arrival for testing purposes. If test results are negative visitors will then have to self-quarantine for seven days. If a positive test is given, they will be quarantined under supervision for 14 days. Keep checking the Crete Escapes website for latest developments. 


26th May - Greek officials have today confirmed the country will reopen to international tourists from June 15th. Obligations to enter a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival will be lifted from June 1st. There remain doubts as to whether Britons will be welcomed at this point given the UK is still deemed to be one of several "highly contagious" countries. There is speculation Brits may be permitted to travel but asked to isolate for two weeks having reached Greece. Crete Escapes continues to monitor the situation closley. Read our latest blog on the Coronavirus in Crete here.


21st May - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has confirmed Greece's tourism season will begin from June 1st. Travel to islands such as Crete and Evia from the mainland will be permitted from this date. Charter flights to Greece and its popular tourist destinations will commence from July. It remains to be seen whether the United Kingdom features on a list of approved countries from which Greece will welcome visitors. As of May 21st there have been 166 deaths nationwide, far fewer than neighbouring regions. Mitsotakis has proclaimed his homeland a "passport of safety, credibility and health". Read our latest blog on the Coronavirus in Crete here.


18th May - Greece and its neighbouring islands are set to welcome tourists once more from July 1st. Social distancing rules mean hotel occupancy will be capped at 50% while the likes of beach umbrellas will stand 10m apart. One property on each island will be set aside to isolate holidaymakers showing symptoms of Covid-19. Read our blog on the latest updates here.


14th May - Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalias, has confirmed travel to Greek islands, including Crete, is under consideration and that this may be permitted as early as May 25th. The news comes after the re-opening of some schools and businesses earlier this week, in what has been labelled the second phase of lifting restrictions.


12th May - Shopping malls and department stores are set to open in Greece from June 1st. Social distancing rules will be applied to prevent the spread of the virus. Read our latest blog here.


4th May - Salons, bookstores, repair shops and sporting goods outlets have all been opened as Greece slowly starts to lift restrictions across the country and its islands. Find out more here.


22nd April - Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Gerogiadis, has stated that leading tour operators will direct tourists to Greece when travel restrictions are lifted, given the country's response to the pandemic and comparatively low death toll. Find out more here.