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Greece Travel Information

Greece Travel InformationA number of cases of coronavirus have been detected in Greece. Greek authorities have introduced measures to stop the spread of the virus. On 28 April, the Greek Prime Minister presented a roadmap for the gradual lifting of covid-19 restrictions. The reopening will consist of several phases over the next few weeks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travel that is not strictly necessary.

Safety

Emergency telephone: 112
Fire: 199
Police: 100
Coastguard: 108
Ambulance: 166
Tourist police: 1571

Contact the embassy at telephone number: (0030) 210 72 46 173 if you are in a crisis or emergency. Outside the embassy's opening hours please contact the Ministry's limited operational center at telephone: (0047) 23 95 00 00, email: UDs.Operative.Senter@mfa.no.

Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid travel insurance and a European health insurance card. Travelers can also register contact information with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Reiseregistrering.no is an offer to travelers to register contact information. In the event of a serious incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the opportunity to send you information by SMS or e-mail.

If a crisis situation arises, it is the Greek authorities who are responsible for the on-site relief work. Follow local government guidance and advice. Stay informed about the situation through the internet, television and radio. The website The Secretariat for Crisis Management Communication provides information in Greek and English.

Notify the embassy/consulate if you are in an affected area, if you leave an affected area or leave the country. It is important that you notify your relatives. Notify family members, employer and Norwegian authorities/embassy how you are doing.

  • Countryaah: Athens is the capital of Greece. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Greece is both a transit country and a host country for refugees and migrants. The Greek authorities have implemented a number of measures to coordinate the challenges associated with demanding situations along the border with Turkey and on some of the islands closest to Turkey. The embassy is contacted by volunteers who want to assist and who have questions related to the safety of the islands. The situation in some of the islands closest to Turkey is unclear and can change at short notice. As with all travel and foreign stays, the laws and regulations of the country must be adhered to, including the instructions provided by the country's health and police authorities.

There is low crime in Greece. Athens is a relatively safe city to travel in, but as in all major cities, care should be taken in the evenings and nights. Take precautions to avoid pickpockets. Travelers are encouraged to be especially vigilant for pickpockets on the subway and other public transport.

Occasional terrorist acts occur in Athens. The attacks can be characterized as militant political statements and have so far not targeted foreign tourists or typical tourist destinations.

There is a risk of earthquakes in Greece. Most earthquakes are barely noticeable, but the danger of major earthquakes with major damage is always present. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs refers to the following links for relevant information on earthquakes in Greece:

  • General Secretariat for Civil Protection
  • European-Mediterranean Seismological Center
  • Institute of Geodynamics

The embassy encourages Norwegians to become aware of the precautions that should be taken before, during and after any earthquakes. If there has just been an earthquake, a tsunami can occur. A tsunami is not one big wave, but a series of waves that can come at different times.

Due to dry landscape and high temperatures, Greece is exposed to forest fires. The danger increases considerably if there is strong wind in the area. Be prepared for evacuation that may be necessary.

Respect warnings on beaches with undercurrents and troubled seas. Antiques from the seabed are not allowed.

Greek highways are of good quality, but highways are of variable standard. The driving style is different from what you are used to from Norway, and the accident rate is unfortunately high. Pedestrians are not a priority group in the traffic picture, so be careful when crossing roads, even at traffic lights. Please note that green and red light rules do not apply when a traffic intersection is directed by traffic police. Norwegian driver's license is valid in Greece.

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

There is a requirement in Greece that anyone should be able to present official identification with citizenship. Of the Norwegian ID documents, only the passport meets these requirements outside the Nordic countries. At airports and at border control, Norwegian citizens can be denied access to aircraft and other means of transport without a passport. The passport need not be valid beyond the day of departure from Greece.

If you lose your passport, you can apply for an emergency passport at the embassy. Emergency passport requires personal attendance.

When traveling with children under the age of 18, Greek authorities may require family relationships to be documented. When only one of the parents is traveling with the child, Greek authorities may require a certified authorization from the parent who is not on the trip. If the children are traveling alone, it may be necessary to include a confirmation that the trip and the stay have been approved by the child's parents or appointed caregivers. This is especially true when traveling out of the EU/EEA area, for example during day trips from Corfu to Albania. A copy of the parent's passport should be attached to the confirmation. Example of a general confirmation.

If you need help or for more information, you can contact the embassy in Athens by email: emb.athens@mfa.no. Outside opening hours, the UD's 24-hour operating center can be contacted at: UDs.Operative.Senter@mfa.no.

Emergency passport is accepted as valid travel document upon entry into Greece. Persons with a residence permit in Norway do not initially need a visa to enter Greece. Please see the Greek embassy in Oslo's website for more information. Travel certificates for refugees (green travel document) and foreigner passport (blue travel document) are accepted as valid travel documents upon entry into Greece. Please note that you must also bring a valid residence card. If you do not have a residence card, the Greek authorities may refuse to leave Greece.

If you lose your travel voucher, foreign passport and/or residence card, contact the embassy. Please note that applying for a travel document for return to Norway can take several days.

A pilgrimage pass is required to visit the monasteries of Mount Athos.
The Pilgrim Pass is issued in Thessaloniki. Priority is given to Orthodox Christians, only men have access and there is a limit to how many can be on Mount Athos at the same time. Contact Mt. Athos, phone: +30 2310 252578, well in advance if you are planning a visit between April and September. The monasteries do not charge for their hospitality, but donations are accepted. Visitors should be fairly attracted. The use of video and film cameras and/or tape recorders is strictly prohibited.

Privately owned boats with a length of more than seven meters must pay a fee either before or on the day of arrival in Greek waters: The Recreational and Daily Tour Cruise Ships Fee

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the development of the coronavirus. Norwegian citizens residing or traveling in Greece are advised to regularly monitor information provided by the media and follow the advice, guidance and directions of the Greek authorities on how to deal with the situation. Information is available on the websites of the National Public Health Organization.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

You can call 1135 if you think you have symptoms of the coronavirus and are in Greece.

Greek health authorities have created an emergency telephone 10306 if you need psychosocial follow-up.

To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Greek authorities have introduced a number of measures. You can find information on the website Coronavirus disease. The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, presented a roadmap on April 28 for the gradual lifting of restrictions related to covid-19. The reopening will consist of several phases over the next few weeks. It will no longer be required to have a message to travel outside, and the radius of movement will be somewhat expanded. The Prime Minister emphasized that the situation is uncertain. Whether one goes from one phase to the next will depend on how the virus develops.

The first phase starts on May 4th. You can find information on the Plan for the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictive measures.

  • Airports are open for commercial flights, but with a number of restrictions. If you have any questions about your trip, contact your airline.
  • All travelers to Greece are required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Information for travelers can be found on the Athens International Airport website.
  • Sailboats coming from abroad cannot dock in Greek ports, and all private sailing is prohibited.
  • On March 21, restrictions were imposed on boat traffic to the Greek islands, with the exception of goods transport, as well as for permanent residents.
  • The hotels are closed until June. Some hotels are allowed to stay open. A list of hotels that are open can be found on the Ministry of Tourism's website.

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Life in Greece does not pose any special health risks. The standard at public hospitals is varied and is often below the standard Nordic standard. There is a large range of private clinics where the standard is good. In general, the threshold is lower for initiating surgery than for similar cases in Norway.

A general recommendation is to visit the Institute of Public Health's websites before traveling abroad. There have been several cases of Vestnil fever in Greece in recent years. Measures to minimize exposure to mosquito bites are recommended. Use mosquito nets, clothing that covers the body and mosquito repellent - especially at dusk and just before sunrise when mosquitoes are most active.

The tap water can be drunk but may have a taste of chlorine.

Practical information

Time zone for Greece is UTC +2 (Norwegian time + 1 hour) The
power grid in Greece is at 220 volts The
telephone network is stable. GSM coverage: 90-95 per cent
Greece has summer and winter time on par with Norway.
Emergency telephone: 112
Area code for calls from Norway to Greece is +30.

The currency unit in Greece is the euro. The most common bank/credit cards are accepted.

National Holidays 2020: January 1 - New Year's Day, January 6 - Epiphany, March 2 - Introduction of Lent, March 25 - Greek National Day, April 17 - Orthodox Good Friday, April 19 - Orthodox Easter Sunday, April 20 - Orthodox Easter Monday, May 1 - International Workers' Day, June 8 - Orthodox Pentecost, August 15 - Virgin Mary's Admission to Heaven, October 28 - Greek National Day, December 25 - Christmas Day and December 26 - 2. Christmas Day.

The two largest ports in Athens, Piraeus and Rafina, have good connections to the Greek islands. The metro is precise and has direct line from the airport to the center of Athens.

The language in Greece is Greek. Younger Greeks have good English skills, but older Greeks in smaller places cannot be expected to understand English.

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