Hi guys! Before we get to the fun parts of my trip, a lot of people asked about the flying process and what the restrictions were like on the islands. Evidently a lot of you have planned trips to Greece, so here’s a bit about that, as well as my overall experience. For reference, I went to Paros, Naxos, and Athens.
Before flying, you need to make sure you fill out this Passenger Locater Form (PLF) to even get ON the plane to Greece. I flew American Airlines (JFK to Athens), and I wasn’t able to check in online (nor were a few of my friends), because I had to have an AA agent come over to the check in kiosk and confirm that I had filled out the PLF document.
You can also download the Verifly app and add everything for your trip on there, which they encouraged. FYI: I didn’t do that and it was fine, just needed that extra step of checking in person I guess. I tried Verifly but the app wasn’t letting me change my airport location.
After landing in Athens, we had to show the PLF doc to the customs agent, but they didn’t collect it from me, they just looked at it. For the ferry from Paros to Naxos, we had to fill out a questionnaire that we all downloaded and printed prior to leaving the US. You can find that online as well, here. It wasn’t that crazy, just a bunch of questions about how you’re feeling, if you’ve been in contact with anyone with Covid recently, you know the type.
In terms of restrictions in bars, restaurants and clubs, it varied honestly. Some bars and restaurants asked us if we were vaccinated but didn’t check our cards, while others actually required vaccine cards to enter. Even some of the beaches asked us if we were vaccinated (you have to book chairs at most places). So if I were you, I’d get that shit laminated and bring it everywhere just to be safe, because I’m not sure they will accept a digital version. No one in my group even tried that, shockingly.
Most places didn’t require us to wear masks, but a lot of the servers still do, and a lot of places had shut down indoor dining and made everyone sit down when we were at a bar. NO standing. One of the clubs my friends went to in Naxos got shut down the next day for indoor service and just moved the party outside, but some clubs are half indoors/half outdoors and they allowed standing/dancing. There were also a few completely indoor clubs in Naxos that didn’t seem to have ANY restrictions, so it really depends on where you go. And how much dedication you have to finding the right places to party.
Personally, I felt fine on the beaches and in restaurants/bars in Paros and Naxos, but I didn’t feel super comfortable in a completely enclosed club where there’s zero ventilation (and a lot of smoking – it’s Europe). And in Athens, most places had shut down indoor dining right before we left. Considering the heatwave, that was not the most pleasant experience. Swamp ass level = 1000%, but other than that, I felt comfortable (as it pertains to Covid). If I wasn’t vaccinated though, I probably wouldn’t go. Seriously.
To that end, when returning to NYC, you have to get a Covid test 2-3 days (max) prior to departure. We went to a place in Naxos that was similar to Urgent Care in the US, and we had to bring our passports as well. It was the nasal swab rapid test and it cost 25 euros per person. Not bad! They gave us a print out of the negative results and stamped it, and we HAD TO show that form before even getting to security at the Athens airport. DO NOT get the test done at the airport if you can avoid it. The line was INSANE and it costs a lot more $$.
On a side note, security overall in the Athens airport actually seemed tighter than here, they checked my negative Covid test form twice, and I even got pulled aside for a random bag check and had MULTIPLE people check my passport. Perhaps I look like a drug mule with Covid in Greece, idk.
Moral of the story: while Greece was amazing and I’m glad I went, things are getting real again over there with Covid and the new variant, so if you aren’t vaccinated and already booked/ready to go, you might wanna wait a little before hopping on a plane. And if you go somewhere indoors, I’d play it safe and wear a mask. Even for selfies in the bathroom at the beach bar. Insert shameless thirst trap here:
Ok I’m done now. Hope this helped! Feel free to leave comments if I missed anything or if you have any other questions.