Sailing in Greece

JFowler

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Our recent experience in Athens Airport is that they look to see that you have a PLF and Vaccination Cert but don’t examine them. All fairly cursory!
 

Mistroma

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Our recent experience in Athens Airport is that they look to see that you have a PLF and Vaccination Cert but don’t examine them. All fairly cursory!
Pretty much what I'm expecting. People are getting more used to the system and going back to working on auto-pilot.

Different from last year when I saw lots of stories about really silly problems:

1) Not allowed to board in UK if Greek PLF had missing middle initial or even missing middle name because only initial shown​
Of course the Greek PLF only asks for an initial and says it is optional. Pretty widely accepted interpretation now.​
2) Vaccination certificate not accepted because of missing QR code or wrong type of vaccine or missing middle name​
Scottish certs. now have a QR code, AZ thing was sorted and middle name was said to be irrelevant wrt passport and cert.​
3) Some airlines wanted a Greek PLF for every adult​
Greek rules say one per group and I haven't heard of any request for additional PLFs​
Of course there's always the chance that someone gets out of bed on the wrong side and gives you grief. Always a risk.​
 

pmartin127

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Another silly problem story. When we were checking in at LHR two weeks ago the couple at the next check in were having their vaccination certificates queried as the check in clerk was saying that the BioNTech vaccine wasn't on the approved list. The couple were pleading that it was the Pfizer vaccine. In the end he relented but it must have been a heart stopping moment and might have gone the other was if he'd got out of bed the wrong side.

But you would have thought it's a fact that ought to be known.
 

Davy_S

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in limbo at the mo.
We have just landed in greece. Greek plf straightforward no problems. Our vaccination and plf were checked and scrutinised at the airport. Be aware. Mask wearing in shops is compulsory. and you Wlll risk a fine if you don.t comply. Ps. We did one plf for the pair of us.no problem.
 

Potted Heid

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We just returned from a great week in the S. Ionian: Palairos, Megannisi, Kalamos, Ithaca, Lefkas. We had booked a test in Nidri which was a joke - a cotton bud up one nose, then pick up your negative test certificate. The only hassle was doing the interminable UK PLF on phones - a tip would be to have all your numbers to hand so you don't have to change screens. I had never sailed in the med before and this area exceeded expectations: so ace. The Greeks were friendly and hospitable and our only rude person came in the shape of the English manageress of the IBA pontoon in Nidri who tried to charge us for a diver to sort out her mess of lazy lines. Unsuccessfully.

I'm the same as Gixer: the stress and hassle of Covid paperwork is worth it to see this part of the world by boat.
 

Mistroma

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We just returned from a great week in the S. Ionian: Palairos, Megannisi, Kalamos, Ithaca, Lefkas. We had booked a test in Nidri which was a joke - a cotton bud up one nose, then pick up your negative test certificate. The only hassle was doing the interminable UK PLF on phones - a tip would be to have all your numbers to hand so you don't have to change screens. I had never sailed in the med before and this area exceeded expectations: so ace. The Greeks were friendly and hospitable and our only rude person came in the shape of the English manageress of the IBA pontoon in Nidri who tried to charge us for a diver to sort out her mess of lazy lines. Unsuccessfully.

I'm the same as Gixer: the stress and hassle of Covid paperwork is worth it to see this part of the world by boat.
Also just returned from Aktio to Gatwick. Test in airport involved a large cotton bud lightly inserted in each nostril, doubt they get many positive results.

The UK PLF does seem badly designed.
e.g. Asks for date & time of return to check if within 48 hours and then asks again and again for the same information.

The current system doesn't seem to be very well designed and has a lot of repetition in data entry.

I realise there are many options for returning home but surely the commonest is back to permanent address. I suspect it could be simplified by assuming that was the case and offering that as an option where you'd just enter the date once and saying you weren't planning to move elsewhere. Other options could be offered for onward travel, in-transit etc.

UK PLF was only briefly examined at Aktio. I opened the PDF on my phone and the check-in person zoomed in to read my passport number and handed it back. I could have edited my own version and had in fact registered for 2 versions (Irish passport and UK passports with same data). Nobody even asked to see any Covid docs. at Gatwick. Electronic passport check and walk straight through Customs section.

Day 2 testing was a bit of a joke as well. I used Randox but they have no click & collect in Scotland, leaving only courier delivery. Their web-site said to allow 4-6 working days for delivery and I need the test number for UK PLF 2 days before arrival. I ordered the test 4 days before arrival and specified my arrival time in UK. I assumed that this meant I'd get the kit when I arrived home or on day 2.

Actual result:
Ordered Friday morning for arrival in UK on Wednesday. 4 working days to Day 0
Email arrives late on Friday evening saying that my tests have been sent out (Tracking number supplied)
Email on Saturday morning to say the tests will arrive within 2-3 hours (Default seems to be leave on doorstep if too big for letterbox)

I managed to contact some neighbours and found one able to delay a shopping trip for a few hours. I used the courier's web-site to alter the delivery address as I would not be at home.

Of course I won't be at home, you are delivering the tests I need after entry and had to order them 48 hours before my return. Randox specifically ask for your return date, tells you to order in plenty of time and the Courier gives a 1 hour window for delivery. It would seem reasonable for Randox to at least ask if they can deliver the tests before your arrival date.

Randox have interesting T&Cs, basically promise to take your money and that's about it. No test delivery, not collected by them incorrect result, etc. aren't grounds for any complaint.:D
 
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sailaboutvic

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Ok well Mike at less you got to Greece .
So did you use Irish passport out and British. In ?
Interested how that when .
 

Mistroma

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One other interesting point about driving in Greece.

We had a meal out with some friends and they had just been stopped by the police as they drove through the Aktio/Preveza tunnel toll booths. They thought that the police fined them for not wearing masks whilst driving as there were 5 people in the car (3 men and 2 ladies). They gave both ladies a 300 euro fine and ignored the 3 men. The men weren't keen to argue about unfairly fining the women in case it resulted in 5 x 300 euro fines.

I suspect they weren't actually fined for not wearing masks and that assumption was due to a language problem. Perhaps the police were indicating leniency if all were wearing masks.

I thought that the Greek law said a maximum of 3 persons in a car unless they were all members of the same family. I don't remember reading about it being OK if everyone wore a mask.

I must admit to forgetting about it and giving another couple a lift for a few minutes.
 

Mistroma

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Ok well Mike at less you got to Greece .
So did you use Irish passport out and British. In ?
Interested how that when .
Yes, Irish passport in and out and Lynne had her UK passport stamped both ways.

One complication was that I expected to present my UK passport on return but easyjet had my Irish passport number on the check-in. I did ask easyjet but they took a week to reply and gave some drivel about them always complying with laws and I'd need to check with the relevant embassy. All I wanted to know was "would easyjet accept a UK PLF and check-in with different passport numbers when I had both available" and they have both in their records already.

The easy answer was to produce 2 PLF forms, one for easyjet with Irish passport and another for UK immigration with my UK passport. The UK system asks for a test booking reference number before issuing the PLF but doesn't check if it is unique. I believe that you could type any old number and get a PLF. I could also have saved time by editing the PLF to make a copy with a different passport number.

Easyjet only looked at the passport number, not the QR code and UK immigration didn't look for any documents at all.

Perhaps I shouldn't have bothered even booking 2 PCR tests.:D:D
 

sailaboutvic

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It's a f@@k up Mike I sure it's a money making thing .
We flying to Holland in Nov then the UK so that be interesting NOT ...haha
See what happen when Christine fly in with me ,
I think a wedding may be in order .
Available for best man duty 😊
Oh forgotten there one that been waiting for the day since 2010 , not forgotten you Neil .
 

jordanbasset

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It's a f@@k up Mike I sure it's a money making thing .
We flying to Holland in Nov then the UK so that be interesting NOT ...haha
See what happen when Christine fly in with me ,
I think a wedding may be in order .
Available for best man duty 😊
Oh forgotten there one that been waiting for the day since 2010 , not forgotten you Neil .
Look forward Vic, everything comes to he who waits :D
 

pmartin127

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Just to follow up on Mistroma's comment about the PCR test reference number for the UK PLF - if you look back at my post #157 the form does indeed check to make sure the number is valid (whether the number is associated with name I have no idea but I doubt it). I had a frantic half hour or so on our way up to Nidri for our medically observed RFT (rip-off €30 for a test that costs less than €1) trying to input what I thought was the right reference number but kept getting refused. That's why I put in bold to alert all that one needed to have the correct number to hand to fill the form in.

Agree the UK PFL form is really badly designed - again see post #157 with respect to being honest about islands visited (which I felt I had to do in case movements had to be traced) but to have to constantly put in date of arrival on the mainland and all the other associated details after every island entered for each passenger was extremely time consuming. Good job we were motoring up to Nidri as I might have had to be keeping watch or something.... What was really galling is that was a complete waste of effort and time as nobody chose to check the on on arrival at LHR.

Interesting that Lynne's UK passport was stamped both ways. We flew BA LHR-PVK (Aktion) and got no stamps in passports at either airport. Inbound a cursory glance by police that we had a Greek PLF but then that had been checked at LHR check-in. Back into LHR no checks of anything and I agree that the Day 2 PCR now feels like a complete waste of £150 as it hasn't been followed up.
 

Mistroma

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Just to follow up on Mistroma's comment about the PCR test reference number for the UK PLF - if you look back at my post #157 the form does indeed check to make sure the number is valid (whether the number is associated with name I have no idea but I doubt it). I had a frantic half hour or so on our way up to Nidri for our medically observed RFT (rip-off €30 for a test that costs less than €1) trying to input what I thought was the right reference number but kept getting refused. That's why I put in bold to alert all that one needed to have the correct number to hand to fill the form in.

Agree the UK PFL form is really badly designed - again see post #157 with respect to being honest about islands visited (which I felt I had to do in case movements had to be traced) but to have to constantly put in date of arrival on the mainland and all the other associated details after every island entered for each passenger was extremely time consuming. Good job we were motoring up to Nidri as I might have had to be keeping watch or something.... What was really galling is that was a complete waste of effort and time as nobody chose to check the on on arrival at LHR.

Interesting that Lynne's UK passport was stamped both ways. We flew BA LHR-PVK (Aktion) and got no stamps in passports at either airport. Inbound a cursory glance by police that we had a Greek PLF but then that had been checked at LHR check-in. Back into LHR no checks of anything and I agree that the Day 2 PCR now feels like a complete waste of £150 as it hasn't been followed up.
Yes, I should have said "any properly formatted number". I suspect the form expects a known format from a limited list of firms and perhaps number range. e.g. RANDX3nnnnnn

I'm pretty certain that the system doesn't have live links to test companies databases and even doubt they get overnight updates. Interesting that LHR didn't check your PLF either, UK was much more slap-dash than Greece.

The guys at Aktion were stamping everything when we arrived. He was even about to stamp my passport (same colour as UK passport) until I pointed out that I was an EU citizen. He did insist on stamping my wife's and when I said she was the wife of an EU citizen he said here passport would always be signed if presented. He said she'd need a residency card to avoid a stamp.

I asked what would happen next year if she arrived and got a stamp but left 6 months later after getting residency. He shrugged and said it wouldn't be a problem. It will be interesting, showing a stamped passport to get an exit stamp and also having a residence card.
 

Mistroma

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It's a f@@k up Mike I sure it's a money making thing .
We flying to Holland in Nov then the UK so that be interesting NOT ...haha
See what happen when Christine fly in with me ,
I think a wedding may be in order .
Available for best man duty 😊
Oh forgotten there one that been waiting for the day since 2010 , not forgotten you Neil .
It will be interesting to see your list of wedding presents.

No.1 AIS transponder Modified version with spoofing function to automatically create fictitious tracks outside EU after 90 days and annually. Provides automatic proof for crew residence and boat VAT. :D:D

No.2 Water maker. Modified version to turn water into wine for bulk storage in tank

No. 3 Automatic translator. Modified to always add "how much of a discount they'll give for cash" when translating any payment requests.
 

sailaboutvic

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It will be interesting to see your list of wedding presents.

No.1 AIS transponder Modified version with spoofing function to automatically create fictitious tracks outside EU after 90 days and annually. Provides automatic proof for crew residence and boat VAT. :D:D

No.2 Water maker. Modified version to turn water into wine for bulk storage in tank

No. 3 Automatic translator. Modified to always add "how much of a discount they'll give for cash" when translating any payment requests.
Very good Mike but
Number 1 as to be a time machine to transfer all the people who voted to leave the EU back to before the vote now there have an insight what Brexit really looks like
 

pmartin127

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An update - we flew LHR-PVK on Saturday with BA or at least we intended to. After sitting in the plane on the tarmac for over two hours it was announced that due to an eruption from Mt. Etna and the flume being blown eastwards the flight was going to be delayed until 07:30 the next morning. A short night and dinner at the Hilton (courtesy of BA) we all regrouped and despite another delay due to problems with bags and late arrival of catering we were finally off at 08:30.
Arrived PVK a where at least 4 planes arrived within 30 minutes. I have never seen the apron so full of planes let alone the last week in the season.
The point I want to make is that Immigration were stamping all non-EU passports which was not happening to us at least back in August. As you can imagine with two booths doing the stamping (and seemingly more rigorous checks of passports) and 4/5 plane loads this took quite a while with the line snaking out onto the tarmac. Several people including myself were called back to the passport booth for further checks (mine was what my father’s name was!).
To top off a fraught journey only one of our two bags made it on that flight which was probably due to there now being two BA674 flights that day. This happened to several other pax too. After leaving details we got a call from the team at PVK to say they had our bag and it was taxied down to Sivota, Levkas where we received it at about 20:00 at the taverna we were moored in front of.
In praise of BA I cannot fault their actions at all in light of an incident over which they had no control. In addition to everything else they make sure the Greek authorities would still accept our Greek PLFs as the stated departure date was now 24/10 and not 23/10 something that certainly had not occurred to us and probably not to many of our fellow pax.
 
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