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Greece to suspend all travel restrictions in May

April 14, 2022
3 min read
Church And Houses In Town By Sea At Santorini During Sunrise
Greece to suspend all travel restrictions in May
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By the beard of Zeus! On May 2, Greece is to lift all COVID-19-related entry rules, and it could well prove a game changer for thousands of tourists during the summer holidays.

That means no proof of vaccination will be required to enter the country by land, sea or air, and testing requirements will also be scrapped irrespective of vaccination status.

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Greek officials are expecting bumper numbers of international visitors between June and August following the collective easing of travel restrictions around Europe and farther afield, with revenues predicted to reach up to 80% of 2019 levels — which itself was a record year.

(Photo by Getty Images)

As a result, the Greek government is eager to make its historical sights, bustling markets and sun-kissed beaches as accessible as possible for visitors, who from early May will no longer be required to wear masks in indoor public places, either.

Related: 6 reasons to travel to Limassol — the Mediterranean city you probably haven’t heard of yet

This might not sound like a big deal on the face of it. However, right now Greece still boasts some of the strictest COVID-19 laws in Europe. Public mask-wearing is still mandatory throughout the country, and unless all passengers are members of the same family, a maximum of three people are permitted to travel in a taxi – and you could receive fines up to 5,000 euros ($5,353) if you break them.

On top of that, Greece is practically a no-go zone for unvaccinated travelers at present. Although anyone without jabs can enter the country by passing a predeparture test, they are unable to visit nightclubs, theaters, cinemas and stadiums, or dine in indoor restaurants. And forget about wandering around all those world-beating museums and exhibitions – those are off-limits, too.

The sun setting at Cape Sounion over the ancient Temple of Poseidon. A really unmissable view if you are in Greece near Athens. (Photo by Sergio Amiti/Getty Images)

Indeed, for thousands of travelers this announcement could be a game changer going into the warmer months. Speaking about the move, Greece’s minister for health, Thanos Plevris, stressed that the current measures are not being dropped indefinitely but are, in fact, suspended, with a view to reintroducing them from September onward.

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Related: How and when to renew your passport right now

“[We’re] not ignoring the pandemic, but we are entering a new regularity by lifting the restrictions, although we will be ready for the autumn and another vaccination rollout.”

To date, Greece has seen over 3,195,000 cases of COVID-19, with 28,274 deaths. However, now that the government believes it has a firmer hand on the pandemic, it is more confident that the cities and islands can open up to the levels they did before lockdown.

(Photo by Benjamin Smithson/The Points Guy)

Be quick, though: from Athens to Mykonos, expect the number of bookings to skyrocket as holidaymakers gear up for their first big summer break in what will have felt like forever.

If you’re looking to extend your stay in the Mediterranean, Cyprus just announced it was axing its restrictions as well.

Featured image by (Photo by Garry Solomon / EyeEm/ GettyImages)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023