TRAVELLING TO GREECE
We are delighted to announce that as from the 15 March 2022 visitors from the United Kingdom the European Union and Schengen Area and other non-EU countries that have joined the EU Digital Covid Certificate system, and from America, Canada, and Australia, do not require a negative test for Covid-19 upon entering Greece if they are fully vaccinated.
Provided visitors have a valid vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated during the last nine months or have received a booster dose (without time restriction), or if they hold a Covid-19 recovery certificate valid for 180 days after the date of issue, they are able to enter and move freely within Greece.
The move (which applies to visitors aged 5 and over) is the latest initiative by the Greek
authorities to boost tourism and support fully vaccinated visitors to Greece, including abolishing the requirement for all international visitors from March 15 to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before their arrival.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated may enter Greece by presenting a negative PCR test,
performed within 72hrs of travel, or a negative Rapid Antigen test, performed within 24hrs of travel.
The FCDO advice has also been updated and the FCDO no longer advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Greece, including all the Greek Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. See UK Govt Foreign Travel Advice for Greece. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece
RETURNING TO THE UK
The current rules apply for your return to the UK. Please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19
If You Are Fully Vaccinated-:
Before you travel to England you must complete a passenger locator form. You need to do this in the 3 days before you arrive in England.
You do not need to take any COVID-19 travel tests before you travel to England or after you arrive.
You do not need to quarantine when you arrive in England.
Read separate guidance to check if you qualify as fully vaccinated. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination
If You Are Not Fully Vaccinated-:
Before you travel to England you must:
• take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 2 days before you travel to England
• book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test – to be taken after you arrive in England
• complete a UK passenger locator form – to be completed in the 3 days before you arrive
You will need to enter your PCR test booking reference number in the passenger locator form.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
The uncertainties presented by the pandemic means that it has never been more important to use a travel company that you can rely on and have total confidence in. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays are committed to providing a personal service, offering you maximum flexibility and the reassurance that your money is protected. Rest assured that you will never lose your money should your travel be restricted. Our ATOL protection and ABTA bonding ensure your money is 100% safe, so you can book with total confidence.
On this basis of current Government announcements and given the resumption of flights to most Greek Destinations we will be operating our holidays as normal.
ENSURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER.
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 or prior to departure. 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. Several travel insurers including Stay sure, Battle face and Avanti are
providing cover for Covid 19. Irrespective of your insurance, the Greek government has confirmed that hospitalization is free for all UK citizens.
In the rare event that you would be required to quarantine after your intended return Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will do everything possible to provide you with accommodation in one of our properties for the period you are required to isolate, this will be subject to availability. Your travel insurance will also cover any additional costs if this were to happen. If this is not possible to accommodate you in one of our properties, the Greek Government have designated hotels on each island where you can isolate free of
charge. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will also assist in altering your return tickets where possible from our existing flight commitments. If there are any additional costs these should also be covered by your travel insurance.
Q. If the FCDO changes its Travel Advice against all but essential travel Can I Change or cancel my holiday?
A. At least 14 days before your scheduled departure date in the event of a travel restriction
affecting your holiday are in place, our expert team will contact you personally to discuss your options. We will always do our best to help you switch destinations or dates and ensure you enjoy the holiday you deserve. Alternatively, we can often provide a credit note for future use. If none of the alternatives are acceptable a refund will also be available.
Under the following circumstances, you are entitled to change or cancel your holiday:
➢ The UK FCDO advise against all non-essential travel to your destination.
➢ Borders to your destination are closed.
➢ You are required to quarantine on arrival at your destination.
➢ The destination country is on the Red List, and you are required to quarantine in a
Government Hotel on your return to the UK.
In the event of a travel restriction affecting your holiday, our expert team will contact you
personally to discuss your options. We will always do our best to help you switch destinations or dates and ensure you enjoy the holiday you deserve. Alternatively, we can often provide a credit note for future use. If none of the alternatives are acceptable a full refund will also be available.
Q. I am booked to travel, and my balance is not yet due, but I have changed my mind & now want to cancel my booking?
A. Provided we can still fulfil all the elements of your holiday, our standard booking conditions and cancellation terms will apply. If at this point the holiday is operating and you chose not to travel, you will need to cancel your holiday in writing. Depending on when you cancel you will forgo your deposit & incur cancellation charges.
If you have specific reasons for not wishing to travel when there are no FCDO restrictions in place, we ask you to contact your travel insurers for information about cover.
Q. What happens if the airline has cancelled the flight that is on my original booking confirmation?
A. If the airline has cancelled the original flight that is on your booking, it is our responsibility to source an alternative flight option for you, where possible. This could mean a change in the airline operating the route. The cost of the alternative flight will not be passed to you. If we can source an alternative carrier on the same flight date departing from the same or a nearby airport and the flight departure time is less than 12 hours from your original booking, this is not regarded as a significant change. In these circumstances, your booking is still valid.
Additionally, if the destination airport has been changed and the transfer time to your holiday destination is not more than 2 hours longer than your original booking’s transfer time this is not regarded as a significant change. For example, if Paxos is your destination and Preveza airport is substituted for Corfu airport, or if Pelion is your destination and Volos airport is substituted for Skiathos airport, this is not regarded as significant change. In this event, we will of course be responsible for arranging your onward transfers and ensure that these operate as smoothly as possible.
A significant change occurs when.
• We cannot source a replacement flight.
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12
• A change of UK departure airport except between: 1) The London airports: Gatwick,
Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and London City; 2) The South Coast airport: Southampton,
Bournemouth and Exeter; 3) The Southwestern airports: Cardiff and Bristol; 4) The
Midlands airports: Birmingham, East Midlands and Doncaster Sheffield; 5) The Northern
airports: Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds Bradford; 6) The North Eastern airports:
Newcastle and Teesside; 7) The Scottish airports: Edinburgh and Glasgow.
If there has been a significant change, we will contact all affected customers about their options, including how to amend bookings to a later date or an alternative destination. We will be in touch as soon as we can. Please do bear with us and thank you in advance for your loyalty, understanding and patience.
If there has been a significant change your rights are as follows -:
• Accept the alteration.
• Choose to take an alternative holiday with us (if it is more expensive you must pay the
difference, but if it is cheaper, we will make an appropriate refund), or
• (in the case of a major alteration – see below) Cancel the holiday and receive a full refund of the monies paid.
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12
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 March2022, Greece is ready to welcome tourists for a long-anticipated holiday season. Most Greek Islands have very low rates of infections and Greece was able to operate for a large part of the summer season last year extremely 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 will the travel experience be like?
A. Without doubt, the airport and flying experience may be slightly different this year. The UK and Greek governments are currently 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 – https://www.easyjet.com/en/covid-19-travel-hub
• TUI – https://www.tui.co.uk
• JET 2 – https://www.jet2.com/flights/safe-travel
• British Airways – https://www.britishairways.com
• Ryan Air – https://www.ryanair.com/
• Enter Air – https://www.enterair.pl/en/covid-19
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. https://travel.gov.gr/#/
(Please note that some of the protocols mentioned in this link are subject to review 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 COVID19.
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.
Q. Are EHIC cards still valid?
A. UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. Once your EHIC has expired, you will be able to replace it with a GHIC. You can get a provisional replacement certificate (PRC) if you need treatment abroad and do not have a card. Most people can apply for a GHIC online, but some people need to apply by post. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them. An EHIC or GHIC is free of charge. Your card will normally arrive within 10 days. You can apply here-:
Q. Is my UK driving licence valid post Brexit for Greece?
A. Yes. From 1 January, most UK drivers will still be able to use their normal driving licence to drive in EU countries. There are some exceptions and what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be needed. An IDP can be bought at Post Offices for £5.50. The exceptions are people who only have a paper licence, not a photocard one, as well as those with licences issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.
The above information is correct as at 9th March 2022. We reserve the right to change our policies in light of new information or travel restrictions.