I. Announcements by the Greek State
- Vaccination against COVID-19
- COVID-19 Self-test
- Emergency protection measures; restrictions on movement
- Social distancing
- Operation of schools
- Operation of the Asylum service
- Access to healthcare
- Personal Hygiene and prevention
- Travel restrictions
This page will be regularly updated with State announcements on measures taken by the Greek Government for the prevention and response to the Coronavirus. Regular updates may also be referenced on the websites of the responsible State bodies below:
- Website with all information and actions of the Ministries regarding COVID-19: https://covid19.gov.gr/
- Ministry of Health: https://www.moh.gov.gr/
- EODY – National Public Health Organization: https://eody.gov.gr/
- Platform for the COVID-19 vaccination: https://emvolio.gov.gr/
- Website with information on COVID-19 self-testing: https://self-testing.gov.gr/
- General Secretariat for Civil Protection: https://www.civilprotection.gr/el
- Ministry of Migration and Asylum Facebook Page
- Information for students: https://covid19.gov.gr/category/paideia/mathites/
- Ministry of Education website with announcements about COVID-19: https://mathainoumeasfaleis.gov.gr/
The information below is based on the Joint Ministerial Decision issued on 5 June 2021 foreseeing urgent measures to protect public health from the further spread of coronavirus COVID-19 throughout the Greek territory. Note that there are regular changes in the relevant legal framework; try to stay informed and follow up all developments. For regular updates visit also the Refugee Info website at www.refugee.info.
1. Vaccination against COVID-19
The National Vaccination Campaign for COVID-19 has begun. The vaccination is free of charge for all and the vaccine will become gradually available to all, in priority groups.
For information about the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, including how to access it, please click here.
2. COVID-19 Self-test
For information on the self-test in Greek please visit the official website available here https://self-testing.gov.gr/. The information below is taken form the Government official website.
The participation of all individuals in the response to the pandemic is crucial. About one in three people who carry the new coronavirus SARS – CoV -2, have no symptoms and transmit it without knowing it. Through the process of self-test with a home test for rapid antigen detection, people protect both their own health as well as the health of their loved ones.
The COVID-19 self-test is obligatory for certain categories of people, as explained below.
If you have taken a home test and tested positive for the new coronavirus, you may have a new test to confirm the former. This can be done either privately or in a public institution (see below) within the next 24 hours.
- For instructions on what to do at home and how to offer care if one of your family members has COVID-19, please go here https://eody.gov.gr/neos-koronoios-covid-19-odigies-gia-frontida-ypoptoy-kroysmatos-sto-spiti/ (in Greek).
- You can find a list of 108 places in which Mobile Units of EODY will be conducting COVID19 rapid tests for free here https://eody.gov.gr/komy-testing-eody/. The Mobile Units will be operational between 10:00 and 15:00 daily.
Frequently asked questions
1) How do I perform the self-test?
A video on how to perform the test can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqy9EtE1uuE (in Greek).
If you are a student, see the video “The most important test takes places outside the school!”, here https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=D0Hu3MvSUF0
2) For whom are the self-tests in schools obligatory?
The self-test is mandatory for some categories of employees of the public and private sector (for example: retail, transports, supermarkets, barbershops/hairdressers), as well as in all Kindergartens, Elementary schools, Gymnasiums, in the day and evening General Lyceums, in the Vocational Lyceums and in the Lyceum Classes in Gymnasiums with Lyceum Classes for:
-The teachers/ professors
-The Special Teaching Staff, the Special Auxiliary Staff as well as the members of the administrative and other staff.
In special education schools of all levels that are also open, the self-test is mandatory for teachers, special teaching staff, the special auxiliary staff, administrative and other staff. For students with disabilities or special educational needs, the self-test is recommended to be performed if it is compatible with the degree and type of disability or special educational need of the student.
3) What do I do if I do not have AMKA or PAAYPA of if I am having difficulty identifying my AMKA in the system?
In case you do not have AMKA, temporary AMKA (PAMKA) or PAAYPA or you face difficulties in finding your number in the system, you can visit one of the public institutions here https://self-testing.gov.gr/eody-stathera-simeia.pdf.
For finding your PAAYPA, visit the official website here https://www.amka.gr/have-paaypa/ (available in more languages).
For finding your AMKA, visit the official website here https://www.amka.gr/AMKAGR/ (in Greek).
4) What applies to children asylum seekers?
In the case of children asylum seekers, parents/ legal guardians may authorize (through an Application – Responsible Declaration) the School Principal or Refugee Education Coordinator to enter the platform self-testing. gov.gr with his/her personal taxis codes in order to issue the school card for COVID-19 (for the child).
In the case of unaccompanied children, the staff of the Reception and Identification Center (KYT) or of the Reception Facilities, or of the Shelter where the unaccompanied child stays, may fill in and sign (in handwriting) the COVID-19 school card for the unaccompanied students, in accordance with the template available here https://self-testing.gov.gr/covid19-school-card-print.pdf . It is noted that when AMKA is mentioned in the specific template, it should be understood to refer also to the temporary AMKA (PAMKA) as well as to the PAAYPA.
The self-test should be conducted in the presence of the staff of the above-mentioned facilities, in compliance with the instructions in the brochures.
5) Are students allowed to conduct the self-test themselves?
Adult Lyceum students can conduct the self-test on their own. Students between 13 and 18 years old can also conduct the test alone but under the supervision of parents / guardians. For children below 13 years of age, the test will be performed by parents / guardians.
6) How will the self-testing.gov.gr registration platform work?
Upon entering this Platform, members of the educational community will be able to choose one of the categories:
1. Reporting of result of self-test for COVID-19: Reporting of result for the general population and teachers, members of Special Teaching Staff, the Special Auxiliary Staff, administrative and other staff of the schools.
2. School card for COVID-19: Reporting of results for the issuance of a school card for parents / guardians of students and adult students.
After entering one of the options, personal data is confirmed and then the users state the result of the self-test they performed in order to issue the corresponding document.
7) How should the medical material used for the self-test be disposed after its conduct?
If the test is negative, you should dispose of the self-test in the common rubbish bin.
If the test is positive, it should again be discarded in the common wastebins, but in two well-closed bags.
Self-test waste is not disposed of in the BLUE RECYCLING BINS and is not disposed of via wastewater.
8) What happens if the self-test result is positive?
If the test is positive, individuals should issue a school card with a positive result (students) or a statement of a positive result (teachers, Special Teaching Staff, the Special Auxiliary Staff, administrative and other staff of the schools).
Moreover, they should take a second test (retest) within 24 hours, either in one of the permanent public institutions proposed, or privately, if they wish, at their own expense.
In case the re-test is positive, the EODY Protocol should be followed. If the re-test is negative, then a relevant certificate is issued by the public institution confirming the negative result. In this case, students, teachers, special teaching staff, special auxiliary staff, administrative and other staff of the schools return to the school unit, showing the above certificate.
9) Where can individuals take the second test (re-test)?
A list with points that will operate in the morning hours from Monday to Friday as well as on Sundays is available here https://self-testing.gov.gr/eody-stathera-simeia.pdf; in the list you can see the exact location and working hours. In order to undergo a COVID19 test in these locations, you must submit the relevant certificate from the website self-testing.gov.gr (positive result of the COVID19 self-test). The possibility for the re-test in these public institutions will be available as of Monday, 12 April.
10) If someone has undergone a molecular COVID-19 test or rapid COVID-19 test, does he/she need to do a self-test?
No, if someone has taken a molecular test or rapid test up to 72 hours before school starts on Monday (12 April) or Thursday (15 April), no self-test is required again.
11) If the test result is “invalid” what should I do?
In the rare case of an “invalid” result, you may visit one of the fixed public institutions that appear in the list here https://self-testing.gov.gr/eody-stathera-simeia.pdf .
12) Justification of school absences: In case of a positive result in the self-test, how can I justify my/ my child’s absences from school, during these 1-2 days until the retest is done?
These absences will not be registered/ taken into consideration upon presentation of the result of the second test (re-test). Re-tests must be conducted within 24 hours, hence the operation of public structures on Sundays.
13) Which students will be allowed to receive self-tests from the pharmacies, demonstrating their students’ AMKA?
Students of all ages (both children and adults) who attend Schools, including students of Special Education Schools of all levels will be allowed to receive self-tests from the pharmacies, demonstrating their students’ AMKA.
15) Should vaccinated teachers / students be tested?
3. Emergency protection measures; restrictions on movement
- In accordance with the current legislation, the Greek territory is separated in the following color-coded risk zones depending on the updated COVID-19 risk assessment:
- Level a/Orange color is used for the areas under monitoring.
- Level b/ Red color for the high-risk areas.
- Level c/Dark red color for the very high-risk areas.
It is important to know the Level/Color of your area of residence as different measures may apply. The official Map of Health Safety and Protection Against Covid-19 is available here https://covid19.gov.gr/covid-map/.
- Movement between 01:30 at night and 5:00 in the morning is prohibited, with the exception of going/returning to/from work, visiting the hospital, a pharmacy or a doctor, when recommended following relevant communication, and walking a pet within walking distance of your home.
- During the remaining hours (namely from 5:00 in the morning until 01:50 in the night) restrictions on movement have been lifted and the use of the SMS system to report movements is no longer required.
Information on the measures in the Reception and Identification Centers in Lesvos, Samos, Kos, Leros and Chios, the open accommodation sites, as well as any kind of facility and reception site for third country nationals
- Movement of third country nationals residing at the RICs and the accommodation sites throughout Greece is temporarily restricted within the corresponding perimeter, and will be applied by the Hellenic Police.
- Every day, from 07.00 to 19.00, representatives of families or groups residing at the RICs and the accommodation sites, are allowed to move to the nearest urban centres to cover for their basic needs. In areas where public transport is available, overcrowding must be avoided. The Hellenic Police shall ensure compliance with the above mentioned measures.
- The Reception and Identification Service, as well as RIC and accommodation sites’ Administration shall inform the third country nationals residing there through written and audio messages, in languages they understand, as well as actors operating in and around the sites, on the reasons for implementing the above-mentioned measure, and the need to strictly comply with it. Following communication with the respective bodies and the local units of international organizations, it is possible to issue a list of registered staff of the international organizations, as well as of the civil society bodies, which gives the right to enter the RIC and structures. Visits or activities that are not related to accommodation, food and medical care provision for the beneficiaries, and require movement within the perimeter of the restriction, shall be allowed following permission by the RIC and sites’ Administration.
- For the provision of legal services to the residents in the RICs and the accommodation sites for third country nationals, access is given following approval by the RIC and accommodation sites’ Administration and to a specific place, where feasible. The staff employed within RICs and accommodation sites are required to strictly comply with the personal hygiene regulations as well as with the individual health preventive measures, as per the relevant announcements of the National Public Health Organisation (EODY) and the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.
- Special healthcare units are deployed within the RIC and accommodation sites’ perimeter, which stand ready to deal with eventual COVID-19 cases and to conduct healthcare controls to the staff employed within the said RICs and accommodation sites.
- The Hellenic Police is responsible for ensuring compliance with the above-mentioned movement restriction and may make relevant decisions to regulate vehicle traffic, configure police control zones and use technical barriers.
- The Ministerial Decision does not apply to the movement of asylum-seekers and stateless persons, as well as of recognized refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, carried out by special chartered means (such as ships, airplanes, railway trains, buses and cars), for reasons of public safety or in the context of accommodation and relocation programmes for the above-mentioned persons (such as HELIOS, ESTIA II and ESTIA 2021).
- The entry of third country nationals in accommodation sites or RICs, in the context of organized transfers carried out by the Reception and Identification Service, is exempted from the regulations of the Ministerial Decision.
- The establishments of the Regional Asylum Offices (RAO), which are located either inside or outside the RIC boundaries and their operation is not suspended in case of exit suspension, are exempted from the regulations of the ministerial decision. RIC Directors and RAO Heads of Offices, in cooperation with the Hellenic Police, take all necessary measure to ensure the safe arrival, stay and departure of the RAO staff, the third country nationals, their legal representatives and advisers, translators and any other person whose presence is absolutely needed at the RAO premises.
- The use of face mask is mandatory with the exception of children under 4 years of age, and cases where for health reasons, its use is not appropriate.
- Violating the above regulations is fined with 300 euros.
You may contact the local authorities and the Site’s Administration regarding the implementation of additional measures in the site where you reside.
4. Social distancing
- The use of a non-medical face mask is mandatory throughout the country, in all indoor and outdoor spaces, including workplaces, with the exception of those working in a private space, where no other people are present. The following categories are exempted from the obligation to wear a mask: persons for whom the use of a face mask is not appropriate due to medical reasons, proven by the appropriate documents, such as due to respiratory problems and b) children under four (4) years of age. Violating the obligation to use a face mask is fined with 300 euros.
- The operation of indoor playgrounds and indoor cinemas is suspended. Restaurants, gyms, open-air playgrounds and open-air cinemas have now re-opened. Grocery stores (e.g. supermarkets, mini markets, bakeries, meat markets, fish markets), pharmacies, car repair shops and open markets continue to operate.
- Transfers: Public transport is operating at a limited frequency and with a maximum occupancy at 65%. In case a passenger does not wear a mask, he/she shall not be allowed to board the means of transport. For taxis and private vehicles, only 3 passengers plus the driver shall be allowed on board. Exceeding the passenger limit shall only be allowed if a) minor children, who cannot stay at home due to lack of supervision by an adult or b) a person in need of assistance from a second passenger to be able to move, are on board. The use of a face mask is mandatory except for spouses and relatives of first and second degree when in their own private vehicle.
- All court trials are suspended, except for specific categories of cases as foreseen in the relevant ministerial decisions providing for the emergency public health measures for the protection from the risk of further spread of
COVID-19. In case you have a scheduled court hearing, you are encouraged to reach out to your legal representative for advice. You can find more information on legal aid here https://help.unhcr.org/greece/where-to-seek-help/other-services/.
- Attendance of religious services, including weddings, funerals and other religious ceremonies, as well as access of individuals to places of worship for praying (of any doctrine or religion), is allowed, regardless of the size and capacity, across the country, with specific restrictions (ex. 1 person/15 sqm, max 100 people, 2m social distancing; in courtyards 1 person/10 sqm), as a matter of precaution for public health. When visiting places of worship (ex. churches etc), individuals should use either two masks (one non-medical and one fabric mask) or a N95 mask.
- The use of elevators is allowed only when necessary and as long as it does not exceed 10% of capacity. In cases where an escalator is available, the use of elevator is allowed only to people with disabilities and other vulnerabilities.The use of a face mask is mandatory.
5. Operation of schools
In-person educational activities in kindergartens, elementary schools gymnasiums and lyceums have restarted as of 10 May. Suspension of the operation on nurseries continues.
- All in-person educational activities in lyceums both of general as well as of professional education have restarted as of 12 April 2021. .
- All in person educational activities in kindergartens, elementary schools and gymnasiums re-started on Monday 10 May.
- In-person educational activities in school units for special education continue.
- Students attending in-person educational activities should undergo COVID-19 self-testing (see relevant paragraph).
- During in-person educational activities the use of a mask is obligatory both in internal and external spaces.
- In universities all in-person educational activities are suspended (lectures, exams, libraries etc.), except for the practical traineeships of senior students of units/schools.
- Examinations in public and private schools, schools for foreign languages, training and skill certification providers take place under additional measures for the protection of public health.
- The school year for Kindergartens and Elementary schools is extended until 25 June, while for Gymnasium and Lyceum (1st and 2nd classes) the school year ends on 11 June. No final tests will be conducted at all levels of education. Last school day for the 3rd class of Lyceum is the 2nd June.
- According to the MoE Circular dated 27th May 2021, the absences of all students which have been or will be registered and are not due to their fault but for objective reasons of force majeure, will not be counted during the school year 2020-21.
- Panhellenic examinations for entry in institutions of higher education and Universities will start on 14 and 15 June (for General and Professional Lyceums respectively).
In order to check whether in a specific school in-person educational activities are suspended check the list at the website of the Ministry of Education (only in Greek) here: https://www.minedu.gov.gr/covid19-schools.html.
Instructions for the distance learning provided by the Ministry of Education (only in Greek) is available here: https://www.minedu.gov.gr/exetaseis-2/1650-covid19/44445-21-03-2020-odigies-gia-tin-eks-apostaseos-ekpaidefsi.
To connect with the electronic platforms for distance learning of the Ministry of Education, click here: https://mathainoumeasfaleis.gov.gr/tilekpedefsi/
6. Operation of the Asylum service
- The Asylum Service shall not provide services to the public without a scheduled appointment..
- All Regional Asylum Offices (RAO) and Autonomous Asylum Units (AAU) will serve the public only for urgent registrations, appeals’ submissions, notification of decisions, delivery of travel documents and submissions of Dublin documents; a limited number of interviews will be conducted only for those applicants who have been contacted by phone by the AS staff to confirm their interview appointment.
- When visiting the Asylum Service, the use of face mask as well as keeping the necessary 1.5 meters distance, are mandatory.
- In any case, asylum-seekers are invited to use the electronic applications of the website: applications.migration.gov.gr.
- Scheduled appointments with asylum-seekers or their lawyers for regular services, and especially those scheduled through the online platform, shall be re-scheduled under the responsibility of the authorities and depending on the available staff, if it is deemed necessary.
In case for whatever reason you cannot attend your scheduled appointment at the Asylum Service, please inform in every possible way (application, e-mail, fax or phone) the competent office in advance or on the same day.
Digital portal of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum (applications.migration.gov.gr)
As of Tuesday, 20.10.2020, asylum-seekers may book their appointment electronically and it is stressed that from that day, the Asylum Service serves the public only following an electronic appointment. The announcement can be found here https://migration.gov.gr/apokleistika-me-ilektroniko-rantevoy-i-exypiretisi-toy-koinoy/.
The below actions are already being conducted only following an appointment:
- Scheduled interviews
- Scheduled registrations
- Submission of supporting documents related to family reunification cases (Dublin cases)
As an exception, an appeal may be filed without an appointment, only due to binding deadlines.
Other services that are processed electronically, since June 2020, without the need to be physically present, are:
- Change of contact information
- Change of personal data
- Application to Postpone/Expedite the Interview Date
- Certificate for application status
- Certificate for folder separation
- Certificate for submission of documents
- Certificate of issuance of copies
- Application for Legal Aid
- Allocation with PAAYPA (Provisional Social Security and Health Care Number)
Extension of the International Protection Applicant Cards validity period
Τhe validity period of international protection applicant cards is further extended until 30.06.2021 regardless of the expiration date of each card (see the announcement in Greek here).
Regarding the procedures before the Appeals Authority, as of Monday 18.05.2020, the authorized attorneys representing the applicants may submit any request electronically, which is sent to the following e-mail address:
7. Access to Healthcare
Only one (1) escort/visitor per patient is allowed in all hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and diagnostic centers, while 80% of the scheduled surgeries shall be postponed. Oncology patients and emergency cases, as well as special hospitals are exempted from this restriction.
8. Personal Hygiene and prevention
Instructions for the proper use of face masks
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or with an alcoholic antiseptic solution before putting on the face mask, and definitely before removing it.
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Remove it by pulling at the same time both elastic strings behind your ear loops. When removing the face mask, make sure you do not touch its front part. Dispose of the mask when it becomes damp.
- If the mask is disposable, dispose of it safely in a regular bin and not in a recycling bin, holding it from the strings. Disposable masks are not recyclable and should not be disposed of in recycling bins.
- If it is a reusable mask (cloth face mask), make sure you wash it as soon as possible in the laundry machine or by hand using a regular detergent, at a temperature of 60ο C and then iron it.
It should be noted that the use of face masks is a complementary measure and does not replace the main safety measures, such as physical distancing> 1.5m, respiratory hygiene (use of tissue when coughing or sneezing), hand hygiene and avoiding touching the face.
For FAQs and videos see the World Health Organization website here https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks.
Guidelines for home isolation of suspect COVID-19 case
- People who are contacts of a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 case (i.e. family members, friends, acquaintances, healthcare workers) should monitor their health condition (temperature check twice a day) 14 days from the last exposure. It is wise to keep daily contact with healthcare professionals throughout the entire monitoring period.
- In case a person under self-isolation experiences respiratory infection symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing) they should contact immediately their physician or the Hellenic National Public Health Organization (Tel No: 1135 or 210 5212 054), for further guidance.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and throw it in the trash right away. Keep your hands away from your face. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water, especially before eating and after you go to the bathroom. If you don’t have soap and water, have someone older help you use a special hand cleaner. Don’t exchange items (such as pen, pencil, eraser, mobile phone, banknotes, coins, etc.) with your classmates. Keep 1.5 m away from everyone, inside and outside school. If you feel sick let your parents / guardians or your teacher know immediately and stay home until you feel completely fine.
9. Travel restrictions
Before travelling to and from Greece, find out about the restrictions that may apply at the time of your trip, from the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (https://www.mfa.gr/en/current-affairs/statements-speeches/welcome-to-greece.html), the Civil Aviation Authority (http://www.ypa.gr/el/news) and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and InsularPolicy (https://www.ynanp.gr/el/gr-epikoinwnias-enhmerwshs/prostasia-apo-neo-koronoio-nomothesia/).
Advice for Travellers:
- The risk for travelers is considered moderate. It is recommended that travelers avoid nonessential travel to areas with presumed local transmission of COVID-19 – Link.
- If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough up to 14 days after you have returned, it is recommended that you stay indoors and immediately seek medical attention mentioning your recent trip, or contact the National Public Health Organization (1135, 210-5212054).
- Travelers coming into Greece must fill the dedicated Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and have a negative PCR test from a diagnostic laboratory; the test must be conducted no later than 72 hours before arrival. If the traveler has completed his/her vaccination (i.e. 14 days have elapsed since the last vaccination, depending on the doses required) and present the relevant vaccination certificate, then proof of a negative test is not required. For more information check the Government’s official website for travelling here https://travel.gov.gr/#/.
- For information on international flights, please note that COVID-19 will most probably impact your travel to/from Greece. Important information about your travel plans from/to Greece can be found on the IATA website here https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php and here https://www.aia.gr/traveler/travellers-info/faq-for-covid19.
The compilation of announcements by the Greek State is based on measures taken by the Greek Government. The content of the Greek State announcements does not necessarily reflect the views of UNHCR. Please note that this summary of announcements by the Greek State is not an official UNHCR document and therefore all news sources and links provided should be quoted and referred to, if need be.
Last updated: 16 July 2021