News story

Greece updates: advice for UK citizens and businesses

Contingency plans for British tourists and UK nationals.

Banks in Greece are now open again, but restrictions on deposit withdrawals from Greek bank accounts remain in place. You can access more information and up-to-date advice on visiting Greece at GOV.UK’s travel advice pages.

What has happened

Banks in Greece reopened on 20 July.

Find out more about State Pension and welfare payments to Greek bank accounts.

What happens next

Contingency plans are already in place to support British tourists and UK nationals – including pensioners – living in Greece, and to protect the British economy and financial system.

On 6 July the Prime Minister chaired a meeting to review those plans in light of the result of the Greek referendum.

George Osborne then spoke in Parliament on the latest developments and how they might affect British citizens. He said

For now, the British government’s position remains the same. We will do whatever is necessary to protect the UK’s economic security at this time.

On 29 June the Chancellor made a statement to the House of Commons, setting out the situation and the UK’s response.

Travel advice

When travelling outside of the UK, you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card).

The Greek government is limiting withdrawals using cards issued by Greek banks to €60 per day.

At this time, you can continue to withdraw cash using your card as normal, up to the daily limit imposed by the Greek banking system (usually €600), or the daily limit imposed by your card issuer - whichever is the lower amount, as long as the ATM has been replenished.

The system for paying with debit and credit cards for retail transactions continues to function.

While banks are closed in Greece and some withdrawals are limited, make sure you take sufficient Euros in cash to cover the duration of your stay, emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays. Please take appropriate security precautions against theft.

Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.

There are currently no restrictions on taking unspent Euros out of Greece at the end of your stay.

Access further travel advice on Greece

Further information

If you are a business then there are restrictions on payments being transferred out of the Greek banking system. The Department for Business has published guidance for businesses who may be affected.

In addition, HMRC’s ‘Time to Pay’ service will be available to help give breathing space to businesses who are experiencing cash-flow difficulties and are unable to pay their tax liabilities as a result of events in Greece. HMRC has introduced a dedicated helpline for those affected - 0300 3308100.

Image by Dimitris Agelakis on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.