Travel from the UK to Greece is set to become easier after it was confirmed that rapid antigen tests will be accepted.
British travellers must present a negative Covid test in order to board a flight to Greece and gain entry to the country.
The Foreign Office (FCDO) has updated its advice to reflect that this can now be a rapid antigen test, which is much quicker and often cheaper than a PCR test (which is also accepted).
Rapid antigen tests must be taken within 48 hours before a flight, whereas a PCR test must be taken within 72 hours prior to departure.
Alternatively, proof of full coronavirus vaccination – with the second jab having been administered at least 14 days before travel – is accepted instead of a negative test.
Travellers with any of the above need not quarantine upon arrival into Greece, although they must also fill in a Passenger Locator Form and wear a mask at all times on public transport.
Although Greece is currently letting in British holidaymakers with no self-isolation requirement, the tourism-dependent country is on the UK’s amber list.
This means that the official UK government line is that people should not be travelling there for leisure purposes.
The restrictions for returning travellers are also somewhat onerous – arrivals must quarantine for 10 days upon entering Britain and take two PCR tests on days two and eight of self-isolation.
However, travellers in England may opt to take an extra Covid test on day five or later which, if negative, allows them to end quarantine early.
The travel industry is calling for these rules to be relaxed in light of the news that fewer than one in 200 people returning to the UK from “amber list” countries are testing positive for Covid-19.
Data from NHS Test and Trace also revealed that no virus variants of concern were found in any of the travellers entering the country from the 167 destinations currently graded “amber” by the British government.
Between 20 May and 9 June, just 89 of the 23,465 passengers arriving from amber countries tested positive for the virus.
Travel expert Paul Charles, founder of the PC Agency, said: “It’s hard for the government to hide behind this data, which is clearly showing that the green list should be widened and that most amber countries are in fact safe to travel to and from.”