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Posted by
1047 posts

Thank you, Alan. It's good to see that governments are working on solutions that work for them and their citizens. And, yes, us tourists too :-)

Posted by
15326 posts

I can go any time thanks to the agreement between Israel and Greece. I was ready to book flights but reality check: nothing's really open yet in Greece. . . . cafes, bars, museums, even outdoor archaeological sights, on Crete at least, are open only to someone who is staying within walking distance. Maybe in the fall . . .

Posted by
11990 posts

While the summer is a little too hot for my liking.....I'm starting to plan for the fall.

Opa!!

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the update Alan, so glad things are moving in this direction. We may be able to travel from the US this summer but our only time off is in late June. Chani mentioned that nothing is open yet. Can anyone recommend a good place to look for openings or track if/when there might be enough open to make it worth the June trip? We're seeing plenty of hotels and AirBnBs taking reservations, ferries seem to be ok, but if there are no cafes or sites open.... maybe not.

Posted by
9 posts

Only hotels are open for business people but looks like everything will be open v soon. God help us ... Ha!

Posted by
15326 posts

I went to the Greece forums on tripadvisor.com. I specifically looked at Crete, since it's one of my planned destinations. There were detailed discussions about lockdown measures.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you all - great links to info... will be keeping a close eye. Wish our travel dares were more flexible but just grateful to have a job and some PTO after this last year.

Posted by
10 posts

I'm curious. As there are very few direct flights from the US to Greece, will it be permitted to transit via a EU airport if your ultimate destination is Greece, or similarly if you're returning from Greece to the US?

Posted by
996 posts

The report about Americans being allowed into Greece is not "official". It's from a "news" report rather than from the government.

However, they're must be some truth to this as I've heard Greece/US is in the negotiating stage about allowing Americans in.

As of now the US is not allowing anyone from Greece in. Greece is not allowing any Americans in.

If both sides can agree to let the other's citizens in then it's quite possible Greece will open up to Americans coming in.

Unless we hear direct from a government official/website everything right now is speculative, but still promising.

You can check this government website for an announcements regarding America/Greece travel

https://gr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

Scroll down to Entry and Exit Requirements for current info.

So I’ve been watching this and seriously considering booking plane tickets to Greece for the summer from the US. My question is this: if Greece allows US citizens in, will I have to buy a flight that flys straight from the US to Greece (like Chicago to Athens) or will I be able to buy a ticket that has a connection in like Paris or somewhere else in Europe.

I know before you sometimes enter the EU while still in the airport. So if the EU is not allowing US citizens, would this make a hang up or would I be able to purchase a ticket with a layover in Europe?

It will make finding flights much easier if I can book with a layover in Europe. Thanks!

-Cameron

Posted by
37 posts

I am anxiously awaiting more information on Greece reopening to U.S. tourists. I would really like to go to Crete for 10 days, but being from the Washington, DC area, I would need to connect in Western Europe. Someone earlier stated that I would need to check with that individual airport to see if this is allowed. Is this correct? Is there any city in the United States that has direct flights to Crete? I would appreciate any advice. I would like to go end of August/early September.

Posted by
3714 posts

I would really like to go to Crete for 10 days, but being from the
Washington, DC area, I would need to connect in Western Europe.
Someone earlier stated that I would need to check with that individual
airport to see if this is allowed. Is this correct? Is there any city
in the United States that has direct flights to Crete?

Yes, check the airport websites is a good start. But the airline websites are probably a better idea. As far as I know, all major European hubs have been open to transfer passengers.

Crete airport is a big airport, in the summer it has direct flights to all major European hubs, but it is very seasonal and in the low season there is basically only flights to Athens. Due to Covid there will probably be limited flights this summer though.

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you for your replies. Right now there are a good number of flights from Washington Dulles (IAD) for early September to Crete with connections at a variety of western European airports (Heathrow, Munich, Frankfort, Zurich, etc). I had searched for any direct flights from the U.S. to Greece, but certainly none are available from IAD. I am excited about even the possibility of going!

Posted by
996 posts

As far as I know there are a few non-stop flights from the US to Athens:

JFK
Newark
Philly

I fly from Boston which has no direct flights to Athens so have a layover somewhere, usually JFK so I'm good for the way over.

My return flight from Athens is a layover in Amsterdam then on to Boston.

I believe if I am not staying in Amsterdam I don't need any testing before my connecting flight.

Not sure about other European airports but I think if you are continuing on to the US you don't need testing.

Better check with the connecting airport before buying a ticket.

Posted by
2974 posts

Just keep in mind that if there are significant spikes in Covid cases Greece can close its doors to foreign visitors in the blink of an eye and without any warning. Try to come up with a back-up plan if at all possible.

Posted by
15326 posts

Currently if you are flying through Europe, you are allowed one connection ONLY. My friend's son booked a flight from Miami to Tel Aviv with connections in Frankfurt and Zurich. When he got to Frankfurt last week he was not allowed to board to flight to Zurich along with other passengers with the same or similar connections. He was able to get a direct flight from Frankfurt though he spent a very long day at the airport. It was explained that was due to Covid restrictions, though he was allowed to book the route and board the flight out of Miami.

So you are allowed one connection :-)

Posted by
996 posts

Just found out that the airport in Amsterdam where I get my connecting flight to America requires a negative covid test.

I'm assuming other European airports will require this but would check with that particular airport.

This is the message on the website:

Mandatory negative COVID-19 test declaration

All passengers on flights to Schiphol are required to have a negative COVID-19 test declaration with them. As of 23 January 2021, it is also mandatory to take a rapid test just before boarding a plane to Schiphol and subsequently be able to show a negative result.

My flight home isn't until Oct. 15 so hopefully by then the virus will be more under control, more vaccinated and no test requirements need, but time will tell.

Posted by
996 posts

Yes, I thought if you were just making a connection at a EU airport and not leaving it you don't need to have a negative Covid test to enter.

Obviously I was wrong. Glad I took the extra time to find out what the current regulations are, at least in Amsterdam.

Hopefully by the time I have to return to the US, mid-Oct. the virus is better under control and/or more people have been vaccinated in Greece which unfortunately is "hot" country for the virus.

I've gotten both vaccines but I guess that may not be good enough at this point.

Just have to wait and see.

Posted by
37 posts

Well, after discovering that there are no direct flights to Greece from Washington Dulles Airport (IAD), I just saw an announcement that United was going to start offering direct flights from IAD to ATH on July 1, 2021. In addition, United will be offering direct flights this summer from various cities to Croatia and Iceland. Here is one link, but I found several with this information:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/article/united-launches-new-routes-from-u-s-to-croatia-greece-and-iceland-this-summer/vi-BB1fPdL1?ocid=msedgdhp

Posted by
44 posts

How are things moving along for your Greece trip? Are restaurants and bars open? Hoping to soon plan a trip to Greece in September. I hope it’s moving along well. Thank you.

Posted by
15 posts

This really is excellent news, but from what I understand, Greece hasn't fully "opened" yet, and in fact, they are having a bit of a surge in cases. However, as long as the hotels and beaches are open, then one could still have a fantastic time no matter what things are like there!

Posted by
38 posts

Hi Alan,

I d like to inform you and the rest people of this thread that since the May 15th, all the last remained close activities re-open (open theatres, museums, organized beaches etc.). You can also check the current restrictions at the link below
https://rhodes-airport-transfers.co.uk/covid19/ Let me know if you need any additional info!

Posted by
14 posts

Anyone know where to obtain a Covid test before returning home to the US from Athens? Any links to clinics or other thoughts? I read something yesterday about the cdc allowing tests to be done at home with a telemedicine visit?

Posted by
37 posts

At the present, before returning to the US, will need results of COVID-19 testing within 3 days of departure from Greece. You can get a COVID 19 test at the Athens Airport (https://athensmedicalgroup.com/strategic-collaboration-between-athens-international-airport-and-the-athens-medical-group-for-covid-19-diagnostic-tests-at-the-airport/) or on some of the islands if you have flown Aegean or Olympic Air (https://en.aegeanair.com/diagnostic-test-purchase/). This may change - I am hoping that proof of vaccination will be sufficient at some point.

Posted by
16 posts

Can anyone help me decipher the "3 days before" Covid testing requirements? We are flying British Air from CA to Athens in late June - via Heathrow. We are all fully vaxxed so ok for Greece but understand that we will need to also have negative covid tests for BA to let us onto the plane in CA given that we transit in London. Trying to make sure we get the timing right for our departing covid tests because we leave on a Sat but arrive on a Sunday so it's a day of travel (and it takes 48-72 hours for results sooo)... Also, thank you for the information about the testing at the airport in Athens... we will be coming from Naxos, spending 3 days before out trip back to US. Sounds like getting a test when we arrive from Naxos will work best. FYI - friends in Athens say vaccinations have really ramped up there!

Posted by
10 posts

I am also confused and travelling from California to Greece end June. I have vaccination but will take test prior to departure to make sure no problems on arrival. But yes, coming back is confusing. Day 1, take a test, Day 2 OK, Day 3 fly and arrive same day, or count back number of hours from estimated arrival in US? I am happy I have the vaccine but still dubious about validity / difficulty at LHR and US airports. Also I will be in Mykonos and don't know if there is anywhere to get a test or if everything is Athens airport. I would like to take SeaJet to Pireus (hotel will pick-up) but everything seems to be centered around Athens airport testing. Ideas and suggestions welcomed. I figure I can get there but don't know if I can get back!

Posted by
37 posts

I do not know if this helps. but this is from the CDC's FAQs section on US citizens traveling internationally who are returning to the U.S. and need for negative COVID-19 test:

"Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days?
The 3-day period is the 3 days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.

For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after."

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you bdriscollent that was extremely helpful (days and not hours makes a big difference!) James, I checked the Heathrow website and they want a test 72 hours before departure. Since our vaccinations should give us the ok for Greek entry we'll focus on the Heathrow/UK stated requirements. Thanks for the encouragement to look around at testing options, I've been focusing on the ones offered by our health plan but looks like a lot more are available in the community.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for the clarification, which may well change again several times before departure! I have been told that more facilities for PCR tests are opening up on the islands, some are clinics you have to go to but there are doctors that will come to your hotel on the smaller islands (these are recommended by tourist organizations and need reservations)

Posted by
12 posts

Our family of 5 is booked on Lufthansa/United from Portland, OR to Washington, DC to Athens. 4 of us will be fully vaccinated by the time we fly in late August, while our daughter will need to test. Since neither the Common Pass, IATA Travel Pass, or the EU Green Pass are fully available yet, does anyone have direct knowledge about whether or not our paper CDC vaccine cards will work as proof of vaccination? Thanks in advance. Can't wait to actually be traveling again!
-TB