Pandemic-Situation in Greece and Crete
Updated: 4 days ago
The number of cases continues to decline, in both Greece and Crete. On June 13th, the country counted 358 cases, including 22 in Crete. Around half of the infections are currently recorded in the Heraklion district. The 2021 tourism season officially opened in Greece on May 14th. According to the government, the economically troubled country spares no effort to make travel and holidays as pleasant, easy and safe as possible for tourists.
This post is intended to help you decide whether vacationing in Crete is an option for you in 2021. Kalimerakriti keeps you informed about the situation in Crete and Greece and prepares yourself for your next vacations in Crete.
Reading info: Please note that the information is without guarantee. They have been researched to the best of our knowledge and belief and are updated as regularly as possible. It should be noted, however, that circumstances can change relatively quickly during the corona pandemic. Any ambiguities are marked in the respective sections.
Check the update dates for each section and be sure to check the official website of the authorities before you travel. The links can be found under “Corona Info” in the Kalimerakriti menu.
1. Measures and Situation in Greece and Crete
Since the start of the season on May 14, the Greek government has gradually relaxed the measures against the spread of the coronavirus. The tourist accommodations (hotels, guest houses, campsites) are allowed to receive tourists, but are rarely fully booked.
Curfew at Night / Mobility Rights from May 14th
The curfew during night has been shortened and applies from 01.30 a.m. to 5 a.m. During the day you are free to move around the island; the activity form confirming your activities was abolished on May 14th. Regarding trips from Crete to other islands (e.g. Santorini) the 3 conditions mentioned below apply.
Taverns, restaurants and cafés are open indoors and outdoors until 00:15, provided there is enough space and fresh air is guaranteed. Meals are made at tables for up to 6 people (exception: families). Since June 13th Music can again be played live or from a tape in the outdoor area.
The hygiene regulations do apply also in Taverns etc. Wearing a mask is mandatory if you don't consume anything, as soon as you enter the outdoor area of a tavern and if you enter the building e.g. in order to go to the toilet.
Shops and supermarkets are usually open normally. Masks are compulsory. In some cases the capacity of people is limited.
Museums and summer cinemas are open and equally subject to safety measures. Further openings, such as those of the open cultural sites (theater, concerts), the fitness center and wellness spas, have been announced till the end of May and the beginning of June.
Taxis / Rental Cars: A maximum of 3 passengers are allowed in taxis, a maximum number of 4 people applies to rental cars.
Facemasks are compulsory in public space, in- and outdoors
People aged 4 and over must wear a hygiene mask outdoors and in all public, closed rooms.
Outdoors / beach
The facemask requirement theoretically also applies on the beach. But according to reports from early Crete travellers and locals it is hardly followed. In cities and when there are large crowds, the locals are more conscientious. On the beach, the loungers should have a distance of 4 m and should be regularly disinfected by the staff.
The mask requirement for indoor areas applies to supermarkets, medical centers, public transport, taxis, offices etc. You as a guest must also wear a mask in the indoor and outdoor areas of taverns, restaurants and cafés (see above). Violations are punished with 300 euros.
The distance rule of 1.5m applies everywhere.
2. Entry Restrictions
Entry Form Requirement
No later than 24 hours before entering Greece, you must fill out the Passenger Locator Form (press «start here»). At midnight on the day of departure, you will receive a confirmation with a QR code, which you must have ready electronically or in print out on your trip. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine of 500 euros.
If, contrary to expectations, you do not receive a confirmation email, register again immediately or call 0030 215 5605151 (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The Greek authorities should help you.
Entry for vaccinated, tested and recovered people
In order to enter Greece you must meet one of the following three conditions:
1) negative, valid PCR test: For travelers from 5 years of age, entry is permitted with a certified, negative PCR test. The test must not be older than 72 hours.
The test obligation also applies entries by sea. The ferries though may let passengers on board without being tested. Please note that you have to leave the transit country Italy after 36 hours if you want to pass through the country without a PCR test.
2) Complete vaccination protection: The deadline for most vaccinations is the 14th day after receiving the second dose. The vaccination card must be officially certified, e.g. with the international certificate of vaccination (yellow) or an official form.
Approved are: Pfizer BioNtech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca / Oxford, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Gamaleya / Sputnik V, Cansino Biologics, Sinopharm.
3) Proof of full recovery: If you had Covid19 the last 2-9 months and can prove this, you are exempt from the test and vaccination certificate. In this case you need a certificate from a public authority (health department) or a document from a recognized laboratory, which certifies a positive PCR test (with date) and your recovery.
Note on the obligation of quarantine / self-isolation: Greece has further relaxed the mandatory quarantine / self-isolation. Travelers from the following countries do not have to go into isolation as a preventive measure, regardless of whether they arrive by plane or by sea or land:
EU & countries of the Schengen area (Switzerland), USA, United Kingdom, Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, Russia, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.
Open borders by land: Travelers are allowed to enter the country via the border crossings Promachonas, Ormenio (both open 24 hours) and Evzoni (open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.).
Options for entry by sea: Entry is possible via the ports of Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras.
Note on the official certificates: According to the Greek government (travel.gov.gr) it is important that your full name is visible on the certificates according to your passport / ID. Permitted languages are: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish or Russian. But it certainly doesn't hurt if you bring an English certification with you.
Spontaneous rapid tests and quarantine hotels: At the airports and at the borders spontaneous rapid tests are carried out. It takes place regardless of the three entry options mentioned above. Refusing to take a test can provoke refusal to entry the country on the part of the authorities.
If the test is positive, you will be placed in a quarantine hotel for 14 days. The Greek state bears the costs for transport and accommodation, but not for any missed flights. Failure to comply with the quarantine obligation can result in fines of up to 5000 euros.
3. Restrictive Measures for Hotspots
In the event of local outbreaks (hotspots) of the coronavirus, the Greek government can take more restrictive measures. The City of Chania is currently under closer scrutiny. The population is urged to adhere particularly consistently to the hygiene measures.
The restrictive measures for hotspots are:
No traffic between midnight and 6 a.m.
Restriction of the operation of taverns, cafes, restaurants etc .:
Customers only outdoors
Consumption only while sitting
24h music ban
Mask requirement while not consuming
Disinfectant on every table
Regular disinfection of the menus
No events such as parties, weekly markets, theater, concerts, etc.
No assembly of 9 or more people, public and private
Eat a maximum of four at the table or six in the family
Suspension of construction work
Prohibition of religious ceremonies, with the exception of funerals (max. 9 people) and services without believers.
4 people per table are allowed in the dining areas unless there is a family of 6, suspension of construction, religious ceremonies excluding funerals with the presence of up to 9 people and services without believers.
4. In Case of Emergency/Sickness
Travelers are encouraged to isolate themselves in the event of symptoms of illness and to dial a doctor or one of the following numbers from Greece's national health organisation:
1135 (24h, only in Greece)
(0030) 210 521 2054
(0030) 210 521 2000
(last checked / updated: June 14th, 2021)