In addition to the comments on the blog, I received emails and offers to plan my itinerary in certain countries.
One of the countries that appeared very popular for the readers of 1TP was Greece, so I began to research my flight options and hotels only to hit a bit of a snag.
Many countries are beginning to reopen their borders, but every country has a different “plan” on HOW they will reopen and WHEN they plan to reopen.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece announced a 3-phase plan to reopen and it is…interesting (to say the least). Here is a summary…
PHASE 1: Plans To Visit Greece Before June 15
- International flights are ONLY allowed to arrive in Athens Airport (ATH)
- All visitors are tested upon arrival and are required to stay overnight at a designated hotel
- If COVID19 test is negative = passenger must self-quarantine for seven days
- If COVID19 test is positive = passenger must self-quarantine for 14 days
We are currently in phase 1 now.
Phase 2: Plans To Visit Greece Between June 15 – June 30
- International flights are ONLY allowed to arrive in Athens Airport (ATH) and Thessaloniki Airport (SKG)
- If your travel originates at THESE AIRPORTS, then you will be tested upon arrival and are required to stay overnight at a designated hotel
- If your travel does not originate at THESE AIRPORTS, then you will only be subject to random COVID19 testing
- Again, if COVID19 test is negative = passenger must self-quarantine for seven days and if it’s positive = passenger must self-quarantine for 14 days
Phase 3: Plans to Visit Greece July 1 (or after)
- International flights are allowed to all Greek airports
- All visitors will be subject to random tests upon arrival
If you read the list of airports, you may have noticed that Greece lists the actual airport (not the country) to determine your eligibility for visiting Greece without being tested and self-quarantined.
The restrictions are based on where your travel originated, which is seemingly open to interpretation, yeah?
For example, looking the United States, there are 22 “high risk” states on the list (below), which means you will be tested. But I presume that also means flying from an airport in one of the other 28 states would make you only subject to testing.
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington
Greece seemingly won’t be asking in which state you live, but rather in which state your travel originated.
According to the latest numbers, the country has done quite well with the coronavirus but that’s also debatable (e.g. Is the country reporting accurate numbers? Are the low numbers because Greece is quieter in winter with few tourists? Why are the numbers so low when so many countries around them are so much higher?).
It’s understandable that Greece desires to reopen as soon as possible given that ~20% of their GDP is based on tourism but now I’m cynical about the process. Will visitors simply leave from a different airport to get around the rules?
Do you plan to visit Greece this summer or see how it pans out?