Athens is once more taking the necessary steps to protect all of its citizens and visitors to the city. This means that a new lockdown is currently in effect in the Greek capital – and across Greece - in order to curb the rising rates of Covid-19. You can read about the specific measures in more detail below. Meanwhile, we invite you to stay on our website and take a virtual tour of our ancient treasures and urban buzz - and plan ahead for your return to our vibrant city. We’ll be here waiting to welcome you warmly again.
What the new lockdown rules mean if you’re in Athens:
- Mandatory wearing of masks at all times in public spaces - enclosed and outdoors (non-compliance of this and other measures carries a 300 euro fine);
- A night curfew from 9pm to 5am is in place during the week and from 6pm to 5am on weekends. You may only go out outside these hours for work, health emergencies or pet walking near your place of residence. Night workers will need to carry official documentation and in the case of the last 2 reasons, you will be required to send a 13033 citizen movement text (see below);
- Restaurants, bars and catering businesses are temporarily closed but you can still get takeaway and delivery;
- Museums, galleries, cinemas, gyms, parks, sporting facilities, archaeological sites are currently closed;
- Hotels to operate as normal (though some may choose to stay closed);
- Travel to and from work during working hours will require a relevant type A certificate from your employer. Everyone other than essential workers should seek to work from home;
- Drivers may only carry two passengers in their vehicle (non-household members must wear masks), except in the case of families with young children.
- From Thursday 11 February - Sunday 28 February, additional tighter restrictions apply:
- Only essential shops such as supermarkets, food stores, bakeries, fuel stations, pet shops, car repairs and pharmacies will remain open (supermarkets will be open until 20:00 on weekdays and until 17:00 on weekends);
- All other retail outlets, including hairdressers, beauty and nail salons and barbers to shut;
- All schools and kindergartens to return to on-line learning, subject to epidemiological data;
- Churches stay closed to the public;
- Neighbourhood markets (laikis) to operate at 50% capacity.
Movement around Athens: the return of the 13033 SMS text message
During lockdown, movement is only permitted within your prefecture (or postcode) and car rides are limited to one person other than the driver (except in the case of families with small children). You will also need to text 13033 to state your name, address, and the purpose of your outing with one of the corresponding numbers below. Travel outside the home is permitted for the following reasons:
1. Doctor’s visits or visit to pharmacies.
2. Shopping for basic necessities.
3. Banks (for non-online operations only)
4. Leaving home to provide assistance to family members, especially the elderly and children.
5. To attend social events such as funerals, weddings etc at specific hours outlined by the Government directive.
6. Going out for exercise near place of residence (up to three people), walking dogs and feeding strays.
You can read more detailed instructions in English about these lockdown movement permits - including employee permits - and download them here.
Going to an Event?
Major public events and performances in Athens have been postponed or cancelled. Additionally, indoor and outdoor concerts are suspended. We are doing our best to keep up with this evolving situation but recommend that you check directly with the event organizer or host venue for confirmation either on their website or Facebook page.
International Arrivals and Flying in and out of Athens
All visitors flying into Athens from abroad will be required to present a negative PCR test from Monday, 9 November, taken within 48 hours of entering Greece. Additionally, those coming from abroad must have a negative PCR test (within 72 hours), while on arrival, they may undergo a rapid test and must adhere to a 7-day preventive self-quarantine. Visitors from the UK will be subject to a rapid test on arrival and a second PCR test before they are allowed out of quarantine as a safeguard against the new strain.
We cannot wait to greet you warmly again, as is the Athenian way. If you are planning on visiting Athens via the Athens International Airport, please make sure to read more detailed information on COVID-19, restrictions and measures on their official page. You can also find out about the official protocols regarding arrivals and departures in Greece - and how to obtain them - here.
Stay Safe in Athens
In accordance with the safety and precautionary guidelines issued by the WHO, we advise the following measures:
- Remain at least one metre away from other people and avoid all crowded places where possible.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (not your hands) when sneezing or coughing.
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading germs.
- Persons with a fever higher than 37.5° are strongly recommended to stay at home, limit all social contacts as much as possible, and to seek medical advice.
The following hospitals have been assigned to accept and deal with possible Covid-19 cases:
How the City of Athens is working to keep you safe
Athens has been lauded by the World Health Organization for its early and decisive handling of the pandemic. During this second wave, the City of Athens continues to take all necessary actions and measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 by implementing lockdown and disinfecting all public spaces, as well as providing vulnerable groups with access to healthcare, shelter, food, masks, social support and other essential supplies.