Greece has announced that it will be ready to welcome visitors from the UK from 17 May. The requirements for travellers are detailed below. Until the next review date Greece is currently on Amber and the requirements are as follows-:
REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER GREECE FROM UK
• For all passengers aged over 11 years old A PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure from the UK, except if you have been fully vaccinated.
Travellers having had both vaccinations (received more than 14 days prior to travel) will be permitted travel without the need for a PCR test and will be fast tracked on Entry into Greece. Proof of the Vaccination can now be provided on the NHS App or by calling 119 to get a letter.
NON-VACCINATED TRAVELLERS A negative test result is required to travel. At Ionian Island Holidays , we have a partnership through AITO with Randox Health (one of the UK government’s approved providers) and our travellers can purchase a test for £60 per person https://www.randoxhealth.com/covid-19-home-testing-kit applying this discount code AITO2021.
Alternatively, a negative NHS may also be accepted.
• A completed Greek Passenger Locator Form (PLF). This questionnaire must be completed a minimum of 24 hours prior to departure. It is your responsibility to do so as will be any costs incurred for new flight tickets and amendments to your travel plans should the form not be submitted. Airlines are denying boarding to those who fail to provide evidence of their submission and their unique QR code. You can find a step-to-step guide to completing the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) here.
• Random testing on arrival will take place for those yet to receive two Covid vaccinations. Those with two vaccinations (issued more than 14 days prior to departure), and can display the completed vaccination card, will be fast tracked but may still be subject to random testing. The name on the vaccination card must match your passport, or where the names do not correspond proof of identity is required.
REQUIREMENTS TO RETURN BACK TO UK FROM GREECE
• A PCR, LAMP or Antigen test taken at a clinic within 72 hours of your return to the UK. This test is taken – our team on the ground will provide the necessary information. A negative test result is required to travel. Further details can be found here.
Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will be providing this test Free of Charge for all Package Holiday Travels throughout May / June & July.
Alternatively, you may purchase this test from one of the UK Government approved providers before your departure from the UK and take it with you. If you do this, you will need to complete a self- declaration before you travel and download a certificate from the provider you purchased the test before you return flight to the UK.
• A completed UK Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
• PCR tests on return from travels as per the government’s traffic light system. Greece has been categorised as Amber and as such a 10-day period of self-isolation applies plus a PCR test on/before Day 2 and on/after Day 8 is required. These tests must be ordered before your return to the UK. Tests can be ordered from Randox Health
using D2D8AITO2021 to reduce from £175 to £120 for the tests on Day 2 and Day 8.
A full list of providers for the Day 2 and Day 8 tests can be found here.
Children under 11 years of age are exempt from testing upon entry into UK from Green and Amber countries
BUT – All travellers aged 5 and over returning from an ‘Amber’ country are required to book a post-arrival day 2/day 8 PCR testing package.
For destination entry requirements please check FCDO Travel Advice.
Full details of people who are exempt from taking a COVID-19 test is available on the FCDO website.
WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW WE WILL BE KEEPING YOU SAFE
Currently, Greece has been placed on the UK Amber list. We expect the next review date will be on 28 May 21, unless the government publish an indication of change of status.
Greece has also embarked on a vaccine immunization program which should result in over the majority of the population having been vaccinated by the end of May of 2021. In fact, many islands have already been fully vaccinated and all those working in the tourist sector including restaurant staff have been prioritized to receive a vaccination regardless of age. This is expected to result in a significant drop in the number of cases and we are hopeful that Greece will be put on the Green List by the next review date.
Q. Can I travel whilst Greece is Amber?
A. While travel from England, Scotland and Wales is permitted to the 12 countries on the Green list, we are hopeful that Greece will be added to the Green list by the next review date.
In the meantime, the UK Government is currently advising people not to make non-essential trips to locations on its Amber list, which covers popular destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. However, the guidance is expected to be ignored by some holidaymakers.
EasyJet, British Airways and TUI have both said that they will operate holidays to countries classified as amber, provided Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not advise against “all but essential” travel.
On this basis we have been contacted by several customers who are prepared and willing to travel against Government advice.
Where customers are fully aware of the UK Government advice, the quarantine and testing requirements on their return to the UK and still wish to travel. Provided we can find a suitable flight that meet your requirements we will make arrangements to facilitate your holiday.
Q. Do I have to travel if the country is Amber?
A. No you will not have to travel if the country remains Amber. We are reviewing this in date order until the next review date. Customers not wishing to travel will be given several options.
For holidays departing up to June 10 we are offering the following options.
* Change the same holiday for the same dates in 2022 at no additional cost. (Provided the holiday was booked after 1- Jan -2020) By re booking the same holiday for next year You will have no additional deposit and you will secure the same price as you were due to pay this year (subject to availability).
If the holiday was booked before 01- Jan 2020 there will be a price adjustment, but this will be based on 2021 rates and include a further 5 % early booking discount & loyalty discount where applicable.
* If you chose to continue travelling but on a different date or destination, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will do everything possible to help provide you with all the new options. However, if the total of your new holiday is more, then you will have to pay the difference, which will need to be paid when the balance becomes due. If the cost of the new holiday is less than the amount you have paid then we will refund the difference.
* If you cannot decide at this moment in time but still intend to travel with us, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays are offering a Refund Credit Note equivalent to the money you have paid us, which is fully protected under ATOL bonding and in line with guidance issued by ABTA, guaranteeing that your money is 100% safe. The Refund Credit Note can be used for any of our holidays travelling before the 31 Oct 22, and we will allow you up to the 31 March 2022 to confirm your new travel arrangements.
If you decide not to rebook a holiday with you will still be eligible for a cash refund at the expiry date of the Refund Credit Note. It also retains the financial protection you had with your original booking.
* Requesting a cash refund for the value of the money paid to date. We would urge you firstly to consider a Refund Credit, which is fully financially protected, is refunded if unused and aids our cash flow in these difficult times for the company. Refunds are being currently taking up to 2 weeks to process.
Q. I am travelling after June 10th what shall I do?
A. We are hopeful that Greece will be on The Green List by the next review date. Therefore, for Guests traveling after the 10th of June, we have changed our balance due dates to allow greater flexibility until the next review or as soon as we know what will be happening. If you wish to defer your trip, outside of the aforementioned dates then it more difficult for us to change your holiday without incurring cancellation fees or supplier amendment fees, which is why we ask you to please be patient. If Greece remains Amber, it is much easier to change flights and accommodation arrangements with our suppliers. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Travelling to Greece & Keeping You Safe
Our attention is firmly focused on ensuring we have done everything possible to make travel safe and enjoyable in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. To help inform and reassure our guests about what to expect from your Ionian & Aegean Island Holiday this summer, we have answered a few of your questions below:
Q. Is Greece a Safe Destination to go on holiday?
A. From the 15 May 21, Greece is ready to welcome tourists for a long-anticipated holiday season. Most Greek Islands have very low rates of infection, being unanimously glorified by the international media for is handling of the crisis. Greece was able to operate for a large part of the summer season last year successfully testing the safety measures implemented. Its positive health performance record against coronavirus in combination with its countless secluded islands makes it the perfect destination for your holiday!
Q. What is a PLF form, and do I have to fill this in before I travel?
A. The Passenger Locator Form (PLF)
must be completed by all passengers visiting Greece. This must be completed at least 24 hours before entering the country, providing detailed information on your point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of your stay while in Greece. In the case of twin centre holidays, passengers are required to provide the address which they will be staying at both accommodations.
Passengers will subsequently receive their unique Quick Response (QR) code in the evening (at 22:00 UK time) prior to your scheduled arrival in Greece and will be notified via email. A QR code will be provided in a link in the confirmation email. Travellers will be requested to show their QR code either on their mobile phone screen or in print on their arrival.
Only one PLF form needs to be completed per family unit or group however all passengers must be listed otherwise you will be denied boarding.
To assist you in completing the form, please note that many of the Greek Islands do not have street names please see our step-to-step guide.
Therefore, when completing the form, it is sufficient to put the following information.
• Property Name i.e. Villa Aquarius
• Street – You Need to put the area i.e. Fiskardo Kefalonia
• Post Code i.e28084
Depending on where you are staying the following Post Codes apply.
Q. What testing is in place when I arrive in Greece and if I am tested do, I need to be quarantined?
A. Spot Rapid tests are carried out on arrival at all Greek airports. Selection is randomly based on scanning your QR code on arrival. If you are selected for a test this consist of a swab test which only takes a few minutes. If you are tested, you will still be allowed to continue with your onward transfers and your holiday normally.
In the rare event you prove positive you will be given instructions of what you need to do by local health officials. What happens next depends on individual circumstances & will also depend on your symptoms. If you have a mild reaction and there is adequate room in the accommodation you are staying and are able to self-isolate, you will be allowed to stay there for the duration of your holiday. If the isolation period exceeds the duration of your initial stay, we will either find suitable accommodation where you can continue your isolation or you can choose to go to one of the Free of Charge hotels that the Greek Government are providing on each island. You will incur no additional expense for this accommodation.
Please note that hospitalization In Greece is free for all UK nationals.
We will also assist in finding an alternative flight home when you are able to travel. In most cases, this cost will be covered by your travel insurance.
Q. What will the travel experience be like?
A. Without doubt, the airport and flying experience will be different this year. The UK and Greek governments are requiring passengers on all public transport, including flights, to wear face masks. You can also expect to be required to wear a face mask in airport terminal buildings and at the boarding gate. In summary, you should be prepared to wear a mask or face covering at all points of your journey.
The UK government is also advising minimising luggage and checking baggage into the hold wherever possible. All flights bought as part of Ionian & Aegean Island Holiday packages include hold baggage.
Many airlines are changing their on-board service, offering limited catering; we, therefore, recommend you stock up after you go through security and before you board with any drinks and snacks you require.
For specific information about how the airlines we use are adapting flying in the ‘new normal’, including how they are cleaning aircraft, please refer to their dedicated webpages:
· EASY JET
· JET 2
· British Airways
· Ryan Air
· Enter Air
Q. Does Greece have any protocols in place to ensure our safety?
A. Greece has very strict protocols in place with regards to distancing and hygiene. For more details of some of these measures please refer here.
(Please note that some of the protocols mentioned in this link do not apply to members of the same party.)
Q. How will transfers operate?
A. The number of passengers allowed on coaches and boats that we use for our transfers have been restricted to approximately 60% of their normal capacity. Protocols are in place to ensure that coaches and boats are sanitised and cleaned after each journey.
Q. What measures are in place for restaurants?
A. Fortunately, many restaurants, tavernas and bars in Greece have extensive outdoor areas. You do not have to wear masks in tavernas or outside spaces however the use of masks is required in other closed spaces.
Tables in restaurants have been spaced out and members of the same family unit can sit on the same table. Restaurant must follow these protocols with regards to hygiene.
Food services – Kitchens
• All kitchens in hotels are obliged to follow Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), an internationally recognised method of identifying and managing food safety related risk.
• Goods must be served by specific staff members who always wear gloves and masks.
• All kitchen staff members should keep distance from one another, in accordance to the requirements of health authorities.
• Entrance to the kitchen area is prohibited for the public.
Food services – Restaurants (a la carte, buffet, breakfast rooms) and bars (indoor and outdoor).
• The same rules apply as in restaurants and bars in the country, according to the current legal framework.
All restaurant and bar managers must implement social distancing through table spacing and guest seating.
Q. What cleaning measures are in place with regards to my accommodation?
A. Protocols issued by the Greek Government vary for Villas, Apartments, Hotels under 50 Rooms and larger establishments over 50 rooms.
For all our accommodation cleaners will have attended training courses organised by the Greek Tourist Board and will have been certified that they have attended these courses.
· Cleaners will be paying extra attention to cleaning ‘high touch’ areas in the accommodation. These include light switches, remote controls, hairdryers, safes, bathroom and kitchen surfaces, kitchen utensils, keys and handrails.
· Cleaners will be asked to use hypochlorite solution to thoroughly disinfect the accommodation before occupation by each party and all villas will be steam cleaned at each change over.
· All bedding will be laundered in cycles where temperatures are maintained at 65°C for not less than ten minutes, or 71°C for not less than three minutes.
· Hand sanitiser will be provided in all accommodation for our guests.
· The contents of welcome hampers will be limited as we do not want individuals other than cleaners and guests to enter the accommodation.
· Practical measures such as any unnecessary paper e.g., leaflets and guides and some ornaments will be removed from the accommodation to minimise any risk.
· Cleaners themselves will follow strict protocols, including wearing disposable gloves, wearing suitable shoes and following social distancing rules when working in teams.
· Chlorine and pH levels of their pools will be tested twice a week for villas and daily for apartments and hotels, including changeover days. Levels are strictly maintained to ensure pools offer a safe environment for our guests.
· For shared accommodation and hotels either sunbeds will be allocated to specific apartments or rooms where practical, or where there are limited sunbeds, these will be disinfected by staff after each usage.
Q. What happens if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 whilst I am on holiday?
A. Our local teams and partners have been fully briefed on the processes and procedures necessary should there be an outbreak, or suspected outbreak, of COVID-19 whilst you are on holiday. The response will vary depending on whether you are staying in a villa, with just your own party, or in a hotel or complex with other guests. Should you, or anyone in your party come down with any symptoms of COVID-19, please inform our local representative immediately and they will advise you of the next steps. As always, our dedicated teams are there to ensure your welfare and are ready and happy to communicate on your behalf with local health professionals and authorities.
Q. Do I need to be insured against Covid19?
A. It is essential you have the correct travel insurance. Please check that your insurance is valid. You should check that your policy covers you for medical expenses, subsistence, and repatriation if you or a member of your party contact COVID-19 during your holiday. You will need to contact your insurance to check if you are covered. Some insurances are allowing customers extensions on their policies to cover specifically for COVID-19.
Whilst we do not sell or recommend specific travel insurance policies ourselves, several insurers, including Cover for You, Stay Sure, AXA and Trail finders, are now offering policies that specifically cover COVID-19.
The above information is correct at 17th May 21. We reserve the right to change our policies.