Access of NGOs to Reception and Identification Centres, camps on the mainland and pre-removal detention facilities is subject to prior permission by the competent authorities. UNHCR is present in Athens, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Leros, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, and Evros, covering through physical presence, field missions and ad hoc visits all sites in their area of responsibility. UNHCR’s teams present in the Aegean islands and the land border in Evros continue to assist new arrivals by helping them gain access to necessary services, and by providing them with information on procedures, rights and obligations. They also ensure that people with specific needs, who require special assistance, are being identified as such by the authorities.
Access of asylum seekers to NGOs and other actors depends on the situation prevailing on each site, for instance overcrowding, in conjunction with the availability of human resources. According to GCR’s observations, UNHCR Units had limited access within the quarantine area on Lesvos where all new arrivals were being placed for as long as quarantine lasted in 2021, thus leaving newcomers deprived of basic information regarding their rights, the procedures and their general status. Similarly, on Kos, UNHCR and NGOs had no access to the quarantine area inside the PRDC where they were being registered by RIS In certain cases, the asylum procedure as well as the RIS procedures thus started despite the fact that the applicants were still under quarantine with limited access to information and legal assistance.
 UNHCR, About UNHCR in Greece, available at: https://bit.ly/3d7ugG1