Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to:
- Greece based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. The FCDO is not advising against travel to the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.
If you are arriving in the UK from Greece, including the islands of Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, you need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Greece to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.
Travel is subject to entry restrictions
UK nationals are permitted to enter Greece if they are a permanent resident in the UK, Greece, another EU/EFTA state, or in one of the following countries; Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE. If you’re a British national who resides in another country, not listed above, you’re likely to be refused entry to Greece due to measures put in place by the Greek authorities to combat the spread of COVID-19
If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country. If you are a permanent resident of Greece, or a Greek citizen, you are also required to complete a PLF form before travelling outside of Greece. See Entry requirements for full details
- All arrivals into Greece need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before your time of arrival into Greece
- Anyone entering Greece from the UK will also be asked to undergo a rapid test for COVID-19 on arrival. Arrivals from the UK are currently required to self-isolate for 7 days in the event of a negative test result. In the event of a positive test result, travellers will have to isolate for at least 14 days. In either case, travellers will need to undertake a further PCR test at the end of their period of self-isolation.
See Entry requirements for further details.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Greece, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
There are rules about taking food and drink into the EU. See Taking food and drink into the EU for further information.
A fire at the Moria camp for migrants on Lesvos caused significant damage to its facilities in the night of 8-9 September 2020, and its inhabitants were dispersed over the island. A temporary camp has been established by the authorities. Visitors to Lesvos should follow local advice, and exercise caution where appropriate.
British nationals usually make over 3 million visits to Greece annually. Most visits are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. See Crime
In recent years there have been occasional incidents of unrest and violence on the Eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos, most recently in response to an increase in arrivals of migrants from Turkey in March. It is possible that further incidents may arise. If you’re on these islands, you should remain vigilant, avoid any demonstrations or related large gatherings, keep up to date with developments and follow the advice of the local authorities.
If you’re living in or moving to Greece, visit our Living in Greece guide in addition to this travel advice.
There are regular strikes, sometimes called at short notice that can cause disruption to public transport (including air travel and ports), as well as road networks and borders. You should avoid all demonstrations and follow the advice given by local security authorities. See Strikes and demonstrations
Localised or severe weather extremes, including wildfires, can affect areas of Greece over the extended summer period. See Natural disasters
Terrorist attacks in Greece can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
The Greek police won’t accept rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially where excessive drinking is involved. Greek courts impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently. Your travel insurance may not cover you after drinking. See Local laws and customs
The emergency services number in Greece is 112. Calling 999 from a UK mobile in Greece will automatically transfer you to the Greek emergency services.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.