Due to the Coronavirus spread worldwide, Greece has taken early precautionary measures and is continually taking new ones for the protection of all people living in Greece and its visitors. Public health protection is Greece’s top priority.
Now, after the successful management of the health crisis, the Greek government proceeds gradually to the lift of measures taken against the spread of Covid-19 throughout Greece and leads the country to normalcy. The government has announced a two-month plan in order to open again Greece’s market in several stages.
Greece’s return to normalcy has started from May 4 with the opening of some shops and services, such as bookstores, electronic stores and hair salons. More shops and services have opened on May 11, while as of May 18 large shopping malls, archaeological sites etc. re-opened.
Actions are currently in effect and are as follows:
- Open-air archaeological sites re-opened on 18 May; museums will re-open on 15 June. Social distancing measures and restrictions will apply.
- Bars, cafés, coffee shops and restaurants re-opened on 25 May with a table limit of 6 people, except for families with children (take away and home delivery services continue to currently operate).
- Organised beaches in the wider Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area re-opened on Saturday 16 May, as elsewhere in Greece, but must adhere to a cap of 40 people per 1,000 square meters and a distance of at least 4 metres between umbrellas.
- Cultural sites such as libraries, theatres and creative learning centres remain closed. Additionally, cinemas, gyms, nightclubs and playgrounds are suspended from operation (some sporting facilities are re-opening from 18 May).
- City parks and green spaces re-opened on 4 May.
- Group gatherings limited to under 10 people.
- The mandatory use of a face mask in public transport, taxis, hospitals, elevators, and recommended when visiting public services such as supermarkets, hairdressers and other retail spaces.
- Social distancing measures are in place in supermarkets and pharmacies allowing one person per 15 square metres. Hand sanitiser pumps have been installed at shop entrances and exits for compulsory use by customers. Cash transactions are to be avoided where possible.
- Churches have re-opened for public services with reduced capacity.
- Open-air cinemas re-opened on 1 June (with capacity restrictions).
From June 1st and for the period of one month, stages 4 to 7 will be implemented, that you can see by clicking below. These stages will start lifting one by one the lockdown restrictions and re-open the market in the following order: shopping malls, outdoor restaurants, cafes, summer cinemas, year-round hotels, amusement parks, theme parks, outdoor playgrounds, indoor restaurants, indoor cafes, seasonal hotels and resorts as well as indoor sports facilities.
Shopping in Thessaloniki
All categories of retail shops have re-opened as of 18 May (hairdressers, beauticians, garden centres, electrical outlets, shopping malls - minus food outlets - and department stores) with adherence to social distancing.
Year-round hotels are now open. Seasonal hotels will re-open on 15 June.
Going to an Event?
Most major public events and many performances have been postponed or cancelled. We are doing our best to keep up with this evolving situation, but recommend that you check directly with the event organiser or host venue for confirmation either on their website or Facebook page.
- In line with the latest EU measures, a temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries into Greece has been enforced.
- From 15 June, Greece will allow the entrance without quarantine of incoming tourists initially from 20 countries chosen based on “epidemiological criteria”. The list will be announced on 31 May. Remaining restrictions are scheduled to be lifted by 15 July.
- International flights to Greece will be able to land at Thessaloniki Airport, in Northern Greece, as of June 15 instead if July 1 as originally planned.
- Flight schedules overall have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 situation. For all flight status updates please contact your airline.
- You can find further COVID-19 advice for travellers here.
While in Thessaloniki
If you notice any symptoms related to COVID-19, please call the National Organisation of Public Health at 1135. We also recommend reading the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 – Advice for travellers by the National Organisation of Public Health.
It’s time to stay safe and connected, being inspired and learning – maybe more now than ever before.
Visit our webpage #greecefromhome or stay tuned on our Greece from Home YouTube Channel where we share our love for Greece – connecting you with Greeks doing amazing things and letting you experience the best of Greece right now.
At the same time, sit back, relax and let our Facebook posts, InstaPosts, Tweets and Pinterest boards entertain you! Till we meet again #staysafe.
- Thessaloniki: The Thessaloniki Tourism Organization has released a video introducing a virtual reality (VR) travel application launched to promote Thessaloniki’s sites of interest to potential travelers to visit once it is safe to travel again. Thessaloniki’s VR app is available on Google Play and the App Store.
The risk for travelers is considered high. It is recommended that travelers avoid nonessential travel to areas with local transmission of COVID-19. There is no vaccine against this novel corona virus.
If you are travelling to areas with local transmission of COVID-19, you should:
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or a disinfectant, especially after coughing or sneezing, before handling and consuming food.
Avoid any contact with patients who are ill with respiratory symptoms.
During your stay in areas with local transmission of COVID-19 you should:
Postpone your trip if you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as cough or you have difficulty to breathe.
Cover your mouth and your nose with a tissue or with your elbow (not with your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid any contact with other persons if you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough or you have difficulty to breathe.
After your return from areas with local transmission of COVID-19:
Watch your health constantly for 14 days.
In case you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, such as respiratory failure or cough 14 days after your return, it is recommended to stay at home and seek immediately medical care, mentioning your recent trip or communicate with the National Public Health Organisation in Greece (1135, 210-5212054).
For further information by the National Public Health Organisation click here.
Nationals of the following countries will be eligible to travel to Greece as of June 15:
- Northern Macedonia,
- New Zealand,
- South Korea,
- Czech Republic,
- and Finland.
At the same time, the Ministry points out that the list will be expanded by July 1, and the new benefiting countries will be announced in time.
You can find the Protocol for Arrivals in Greece here.