United Airlines announced on Monday that it will launch new nonstop Greece flights from Washington’s Dulles Airport to Athens, this Summer, starting in July.
The new route will be one nonstop flight and another nonstop route, from Newark, New Jersey to Dubrovnik, Croatia, may also be helpful to some who desire to make their way to Greece as well.
The routes are bookable now for travel starting in July. The Athens flight will be the first nonstop route for United between the U.S. capital and the Greek capital, with daily departures from July 1 through Oct. 3 of this year.
New routes will “unlock the beauty of the outdoors” for travelers
They will depart from Newark on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and from Dubrovnik on Tuesday, Fridays, and Sundays from July 8 through October 3 on Boeing 767-300ER planes.
United’s Patrick Quayle said in a statement sent to Travel + Leisure “As countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travelers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations.
“These three new routes unlock the natural beauty of the outdoors for our guests,” he added.
CDC considers Greece “Level 4,” or High-Covid, area
At this point, the United States Centers for Disease Control considers Greece to be in a “Level 4,” or “Covid-19 very high” condition.
Currently, the airline is no longer using the usual back-to-front loading system to help avoid contact with other travelers. In addition, United also allows passengers to upload their vaccination results to its mobile app and site through its Travel-Ready Center.
The new flights are part of United’s ongoing effort to add new routes in response to customer demand. United said in a press release that the carrier has noted a 61% increase in searches to the cities of Athens, Dubrovnik and Reykjavik, Iceland in the last month on its website.
Greece opened its doors to American tourists once again on Monday, as it agreed to lift current quarantine requirements for US, UK, EU, UAE, Serbian and Israeli travelers who either are vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or can show a negative PCR test upon arrival.
This soft opening of the tourism sector is expected to help authorities in identifying policy gaps and omissions ahead of the official launch of the 2021 tourism season on May 14, when the travel ban is scheduled to be lifted for visitors and residents alike.
For the time being, however, travelers to Greece will need to follow the same restrictions that apply to residents, such as the nightly curfew and the limited travel between regions.
Greece flights will begin after country reopens for Americans
Under current rules, all foreigners arriving in Greece must test negative and quarantine for seven days.
These first few travelers who will be exempt from the quarantine rules, as part of the kickoff of Greece’s “Green Initiative”, must arrive either through the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu, or through two distinct border crossings.
This is the first time in more than a year that the travel ban will be lifted for US travelers, who have been banned from entering Greece since March of 2020.
The quarantine rules had already been lifted for Israeli tourists last week as Greek authorities decided to accept 10,000 vaccinated Israeli tourists per week.
The official opening of the tourist season on May 14 has been much anticipated by the pandemic-hit tourism and hospitality sector, which remains a key growth driver for the country’s economy.
Passenger Locator Form (PLF) document required
Under the “Green Initiative” scheme for international arrivals, all travelers must complete their PLF document, downloadable from the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr, until the day before entering Greece and leaving their country of origination.
The form will provide detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay in Greece. In case of multiple stays, travelers are required to provide their address for at least the first 24 hours of their stay. Only one PLF is to be submitted per family.
Upon submission of their PLF, travelers will receive a confirmation email.
The submitted document and their unique Quick Response (QR) code are to be received on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece, again via email.
Travelers boarding or embarking on the day prior to arrival will be allowed to do so upon showing just the confirmation email, since they will only receive their QR code during their flight or voyage.
It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app for free, prior to their arrival in Greece.