Coronavirus: Announcements by the Greek State



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:

Temporary closure of schools until 24 March 2020

  • Upon recommendation by the Special Committee on Infectious Diseases Experts, the Government decided to suspend the operation of all educational institutions throughout the country from 11 to 24 March 2020.
  • The suspension of activities applies to all kindergartens, schools, IEKs, universities, private and public.
  • This extraordinary measure is being taken for preventive reasons in order to reduce the spread of the virus in the community. In this context, special measures are foreseen for working parents of minors and pupils.

Link 1 | Link 2

Temporary suspension of Asylum Services until 10 April 2020

  • All administrative services to the public are suspended (e.g., registrations, interviews, appeal submissions etc.).
  • Applicants’ cards and residence permits that are due to expire within the above mentioned period will remain valid.


Social distancing measures were announced by the Government of Greece on 15 March as ‘westayhome’ – Increased measures are expected

  • This includes flexible working arrangements for public sector workers, the closure of restaurants, cafes, malls and other public spaces.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies and small shops remain open but introduce controlled entry/exit to limit crowding and additional measures are expected.
  • All services in places of worship, regardless of religion, are suspended until 30 March 2020.


COVID-19 Guidelines on home isolation of suspect cases

  • 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 the case that the 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.


Travel restrictions

Transport links with Albania, North Macedonia, Spain and Italy have been suspended until further notice

  • Greece imposed as of 16 March a 14-day quarantine to anyone entering Greece, regardless of nationality, until further notice.
  • The government also decided to implement a ban on all cruise ships and sailboats docking at its ports.

Link 1 | Link 2

Entry into Greece

  • Non-EU citizens are not allowed entry into Greece as of 6am, 18 March until 18 April 2020, unless for urgent work or family reasons.


Advice for Travellers: 

  • The risk for travellers is considered high. It is recommended that travellers avoid nonessential travel to areas with local transmission of COVID-19 – Link. There is no vaccine against this novel corona virus.
  •  If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough 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).


Update on Reception Identification Centers

In the framework of restricting the spread of the coronavirus to the population staying at the islands’ overcrowded RICs, the following measures are put into force:

  1. New arrivals after 1 March 2020 remain outside the RICs to avoid the risk of spreading the coronavirus. In the coming days, they will be transferred to closed sites on the mainland.
  2. Movement of people residing at the RICs will be restricted for a period of 30 days. Their movement to the urban centers to cover their basic needs will be controlled. More specifically, limited groups will be allowed to move every hour to the neighboring urban centers between 7am to 7pm. One member per family will be allowed to leave at a time. The coordination and control of this movement will be carried out by the police, and they will only use public transport means of controlled and limited circulation. Wherever possible, the provision of food to RIC residents through phone orders will be prioritized.
  3. The transformation of the RICs on Kos and Leros into closed sites will begin immediately.
  4. The completion of the new closed center on Samos is being accelerated, in a smaller piece of land in relation to initial planning, closing down in parallel the open facility in Vathy.
  5. The process to set up special health units inside the RICs has already started, which will include medical offices, isolation spaces for sick people in order to prevent and respond to any possible infected cases.
  6. All visits and activities of people/organizations have been suspended inside the RICs and accommodation sites. Entry is only allowed to staff.

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Source: UNHCR