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Greece COV-19 vaccine requirements

This morning I read the following excerpt from an online article: "On January 5, Greece's health minister Thanos Plevris placed an expiry date of seven months on vaccine passports. Those who had their last dose of the vaccine more than seven months ago must receive a booster shot. However, at the time of writing, Greece does not have a vaccine mandate to arrivals and visitors can instead show proof of a negative Covid test. Vaccine passports expire after six months."

I am flying from the USA to Athens on 05/20/22 prior to beginning the RS Athens and the Heart of Greece tour several days later. I received my COV-19 booster shot on 10/08/21, more than 7 months prior to my arrival in Greece.

I understand that Greece's vaccination requirements may change before May. My question is: how would the current requirements as outlined above be likely applied in my situation?

Posted by
599 posts

This is a very vexing problem for all of us. I have read up on this 9-month (270) day thing and it is ill defined. The unclarity is because I am not sure if they mean you need to have had a booster within 9 months of the second shot, or that after the booster you are essentially expired after 270 days. Or if you had the booster within the 270 days that now you are all OK to proceed.
It is not clear at all. but I am sure there are many of us who are approaching 270 days after the booster. We interpret it as - now we cannot go anywhere because we are expired. Since there is no fourth shot or second booster yet, then that means we are not traveling to many countries this summer, or this year. This is a huge negative for any European countries because they will lose a whole lot of tourism this year based if the above is true.

This is in the same vein as when the three-day, 72-hour covid test required to enter a country and the thoughts were all over the board about what that meant. Did the timeframe end at boarding the plane, or did it mean when you entered the country? What about change in time zones, etc. It was unclear and had to be minced and talked about by travelers because the country requirement websites did not make it clear.

Posted by
1440 posts

I will be following this thread as well. We have airline reservations from the USA to Santorini. We depart on May 12 and arrive in Greece on May 13. We, too, had our boosters in October. Does vaccine passport mean the CDC Vaccination certificate? I admit I haven't been paying attention yet to the requirements because things could change by May but after reading this, I am a bit concerned.

If this rule doesn't change for the better by May, what do people do? There isn't a second booster yet.

Posted by
2766 posts

I am reading this to mean that your 2 shot series expires after 6 months, at which point you need a booster. Not that the booster expires after six months. The aim seems to be to make people get boosters, not to limit the booster validity.

But I’m not the Greek government so can’t say for sure. Like all things, we need to wait for clarity. By then we might have a 4th shot. This rule might be eliminated or clarified to mean what I guessed. Or not.

From what I’ve read the CDC card works as vaccine documentation for US citizens. I’m going in June and will be keeping an eye on this, but not much yet. Things are changing all the time, and right now seems to be bringing lots of changes to other countries. I’ll check back in more depth in maybe April.

Posted by
1114 posts

There are still several months before most tourists start showing up so I would not get to worried about regulations just yet.

Things can and have changed quickly. The latest is EU citizens do not need a negative test to enter the country only to be fully vaccinated.

I am thinking that as spring approaches Greece may allow some non-EU citizens to enter without a negative test which can relieve a lot of stress on people.

Here's the article about EU citizens not needing a negative covid test to enter the country:

Keep up to date on Greece entry requirements here:

Posted by
34 posts

I'm following the Sherpa website for the most clear, up to date info on what's required for Covid (vaccine, forms, tests, etc). Heading to Greece the end of March and requirements are changing daily, so I'm not focusing on it until a couple weeks before I go. Because I'm flying through Amsterdam, that airport also has requirements even with a layover.

Regarding another's question about the 72 hour timeframe of your PCR test. It's 72 hours BEFORE your first flight departs the US. Aim for 1-2 days before in case of delays.

Posted by
372 posts

Many thanks for your replies. I really like the Sherpa website!!! Will continue to monitor between now and my 05/20/22 departure but it's helpful to know what current requirements are.

Posted by
1114 posts


According to the Greek Website

c) Certificate of negative test result, namely, negative molecular test result (PCR) performed up to 72 hours before the scheduled ARRIVAL or negative Rapid Antigen test result performed up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival.

Posted by
14164 posts

Very important to note the of now Greece requires the tests based on ARRIVAL time not departure time.

I will be in Greece more than a month before you and I'm not even going to worry about the testing rules until about 2-3 weeks out. They are likely to change between now and then.

Posted by
4 posts

I would really appreciate feed back here from people arriving for the first set of tours this March. I will be arriving May 5 after changing planes in Istanbul. Wish me luck with that.

Posted by
372 posts

A post on the Travel Forum today (02/14/22) communicated that the official Greece website has been updated to state that fully vaccinated tourists from the US do not need to test for COV-19 prior to arrival if they provide properly completed vaccination documentation. Furthermore, specific to my original query n the Travel Forum, there is no time limit after receiving a booster shot. I am pasting in below the language that pertains to fully vaccinated travelers from the US. I will continue to monitor requirements between now and my 05/20/22 departure for Athens.

Travellers arriving from Australia, Canada and the United States of America are permitted to enter Greece under the condition that they display one of the following:

a) Vaccination certificate (for those who have completed vaccination for COVID-19 at least fourteen (14) days before arrival) valid for 9 months after the completion of the basic vaccination and without time limit for travellers who have received the booster dose. The vaccination certificate must include the full name of the traveller as registered in the passport, the type of vaccine given, the number of doses and inoculation dates,

Posted by
199 posts

My vaccine card doesn't match my passport. My middle name is just an initial. I believe my husband's card is the same. The CDC only requires a middle initial.

Posted by
199 posts

This was an answer from a UK citizen on Trip advisor.1. Re: PLF form
Feb 19, 2022, 5:01 PM
Hi. I can only tell you that, in the UK, our official vaccination records do not contain middle names, which hasn’t caused any problems when holidaying in Greece, as long as forename and surname precisely match passport details.

Posted by
134 posts

It doesn’t sound like I’ll need a Covid test for transiting through London Heathrow or for arrival in Athens. However, I’m choosing to take a Covid test, because if I test positive I can’t go on my tour anyway. I guess I’d rather be stuck at home wishing I was in Greece rather than stuck in Greece in quarantine wishing I were on my tour or at home.

Posted by
115 posts

We are in Athens now and we are vaccinated and boosted. In our case, we did NOT need to show proof of a negative COVID test to enter. Obviously the rules are different if you aren’t vaccinated.

Also, on March 15th, the Greek government did away with the Passenger Locator Form so if you are vaccinated and boosted you don’t need to do anything to enter. That said, I was boosted at the end of September 2021 so I’m not sure about expiry dates regarding entrance to Greece.

Finally, your CDC card is recognized everywhere.