Earlier this month, the Greek Shipping Ministry updated the anti-COVID rules for passengers travelling by ferry between the many islands and the mainland, including inter-island travel.
Passengers travelling on Greek ferries will now need to present either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test, a negative rapid test or a negative self-test.
All ferry passengers must fill out a health declaration questionnaire before boarding a ferry to travel between the mainland and the islands.
However, passengers travelling between islands do not need to fill out the questionnaire.
As a result of the new rules, both adult residents and foreign visitors, are allowed to travel from the mainland to the Greek islands by ferry only if they have one of the following:
1) a vaccination certificate stating that 14 days have passed since full vaccination for Covid-19
2) a negative PCR test performed less than three days (72 hours) prior to the scheduled travel date or a negative rapid antigen test taken 48 hours prior to travel
3) a recovery certificate. Travellers can present a medical/recovery certificate issued 30 days after they first tested positive for Covid-19 (the certificate is valid for 180 days after the issue date). The certificate must be issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory.
Alternatively, travellers may present, in digital or printed form, an EU Digital COVID Certificate, as proof that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or received a negative test result (72-hour PCR or 48-hour rapid test) or recovered from the coronavirus.
People aged between 12 and 17 may present any test, including self-tests (taken at least 24 hours before travel), to embark on a ferry. Minors of up to 12 years old can travel without presenting a test.
To travel from the Greek islands to the mainland, the new rules are the same as above.
Those travelling by ferry between islands in the same regional group (for example between Mykonos and Santorini), have the option of presenting a negative self-test for Covid-19 taken 24 hours before travel, or either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid test conducted 48 hours before travelling.
However, when sailing between islands that are not of the same group (for example Santorini and Heraklion, Crete) a Covid-19 self-test is not acceptable and passengers must present either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid test carried out 48 hours before travelling.
The Greek Shipping Ministry also said that passengers booked to travel by ferry from the mainland to the Greek islands or vice versa should arrive at ports at least 90 minutes before the scheduled time of departure in order to facilitate the embarkation procedure.
In addition, the Hellenic Coast Guard is now responsible for checking passenger compliance with the new COVID-19 rules for inter-island ferry travel, Greek Shipping Minister, Yiannis Plakiotakis announced.
Previously, the ferries’ crews were required to cross-check passenger identity documents against their health certificates.
“I ask for the co-operation of all travelling by boat. I ask them to carry all the necessary documents with them, to be meticulous in observing the measures, to follow the instructions of the men and women of the Coast Guard,” Minister Plakiotakis said. “Also, for their greater convenience, [they should] be at the port at least 1.5 hours ahead of the departure time of the ship. With vaccination, following the measures and responsibility, we can enjoy this year’s summer in good health.”