As you might know, I got back to Santorini after spending four months in Italy so I just had my first post-COVID flight to Greece and I thought it might be useful to share with you my experience.
If Greece is in your post-COVID travel plans, you should read this info and tips!
1 – Fill out the PLF (Passenger Locator Form)
From the 1st of July, Greece is welcoming travelers and in order to keep everyone safe, the government is screening all the people who enter the country. So, prior to your post-COVID trip, you will have to fill out the PLF (Passenger Locator Form) providing detailed information on your departure, the countries you visited before your travel to Greece, the address of the place where you will be staying. You will receive a confirmation email after the submission and on the day of your travel to Greece, you will get a unique QR code that can be shown as a paper document or on your mobile. You will be asked to show your PLF at the check-in and at your arrival in Greece. This procedure is mandatory up to 31/08/2020 and it concerns all arrivals to Greece (by plane, ferry, or car).
2 – Wear your mask in the airport and on the plane
The use of a mask or a scarf (which covers your nose and mouth) is mandatory everywhere in the airport and on the plane. Respect the others and yourself and wear it even if it’s a bit annoying. On my flight I witnessed a bit of tension in between passengers who wore the mask and others who didn’t.
3 – On board only with 1 piece of luggage
I flew with Aegean Airlines and they allowed only 1 piece of luggage on board, either a personal item (women’s/men’s handbag or thin laptop case) or a carry-on bag up to 8kg. All other baggage must be checked in at the baggage drop off counters. Check with your airline company the cabin luggage allowance.
If you are flying from Italy (as I did) it’s forbidden to use the overhead luggage compartments, so the only piece of luggage allowed on board has to fit the space under the seat in front of yours.
4 – Respect the boarding directions
In order to keep the social distance required for the safety of everyone, the airline companies are now boarding passengers with a specific order. Please follow their directions. On my flight travelers with window seats were boarded first.
5 – All the seats are (eventually) occupied
The social distance is not really respected on the flight as all the seats could be occupied (even the middle seat), that’s why is really important to wear a mask for the whole trip.
6 – Pack your lunch if you have special dietary requirements
Always referring to my personal experience and Aegean Airlines, the lunch now is served on a paper box with a snack, a sandwich and a very small bottle of water. The special dietary requirements (gluten free, allergies, vegetarian/vegan options,…) are not taken in consideration for the time being. So if you have special requirements you should pack your lunch box for the flight. For me, it’s a habit as I don’t like the airplane food and I am vegan, but I thought this might be useful for anyone who has an allergy or specific needs. And bring your extra bottle of water.
7 – Spending time at the airport if you have a transit connection
I had a transit connection in Athens to Santorini and I had to spend a lot of time at Venizelos airport. Most of the businesses (cafes, restaurants, shops) are open, enough for any needs. The seats are spaced-out. There are lots of posters and announcements which remind you to keep the social distance, to sterilize your hands often and wear a mask. There are lots of antiseptic stations all over the airport but I would recommend traveling with your own.
8 – Targeted Random COVID tests at your arrival in Greece
Once you land in Greece you could be submitted to a random COVID-test. After disembarking you will be led to a room where a representative will check your PLF and decide if you will undergo the test or not.
9 – Continue to your final destination
Even if you will have to be tested, you could continue to your final destination, you will receive an SMS with the results on your mobile after few hours or after 24h (respecting social distance meanwhile) you are free to start discovering the beauty of Greece.
10 – Enjoy your holiday and stay safe!
We all need a break after this very difficult time and you are so lucky that you are in Greece! Enjoy the beauty of this country but remember to stay safe: wash your hands and use a sanitizer often, respect the social distance. Some of the locals might have concerns at the beginning, I think this is understandable, but you will feel welcomed as usual! Have a great time!
If you will come to Santorini, give me a shout so that I can update you with things to do and where to eat.