As of Sunday, April 7, a new security measure will be implemented in Greek airports for travellers entering or leaving the Schengen zone, which may cause delays.
The EU Regulation 2017/458, which requires systematic checks against relevant databases for all European citizens traveling to/from Non-Schengen destinations, will come into force in Greece’s airports by the Greek police.
The EU regulation requires the passports of passengers travelling outside the Schengen zone to be scanned and cross checked against international and national databases when arriving and leaving airports in Europe.
Due to possible lengthy ques and increased waiting time at check points, passengers traveling to non-Schengen countries are advised to timely attend departure gates to have their passports checked by the Greek police.
Additionally, it is recommended that travelers to/from Non-Schengen destinations to prefer the use of their passport instead of their identity card when traveling in order to speed up control procedures.
According to reports, the Greek police has strengthened its presence with more officers at Athens International Airport (AIA) aiming to accelerate the checks. On its part, AIA has also proceeded with improvements in terms of equipment and services in order for passengers to avoid long queues, especially in departures.
It is noted that domestic flights in Greece, as well as those to / from Schengen countries, are not obliged to implement the new security measures of the EU regulation.
Greece is a member of the Schengen Area, along with the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The EU regulation has initially entered into force on 7 April 2017 and Greece, along with Italy and Lithuania, had received an extension to its implementation.