The evolution of the situation and impact on tourism in Crete and Greece by the coronavirus from May 4, 2020.
Daily updates on the corona situation on Crete here on CreteTip !
May 10, 2020 (Sunday):
Today only six new corona diseases (to 2,716, of which 1,191 are active and 30 have a severe course) and fortunately no further deaths.
May 9, 2020 (Saturday):
Today, 19 new corona cases (to a total of 2,710, of which 1,185 are active and 28 with a severe course), as well as one further death (to a total of 151).
The government’s plan for travel from mainland Greece to the islands will be carried out in three stages and, according to the Ministry of the Interior, should be completed on June 1:
The first stage of the journey to the islands by sea or air is intended for people who own tourist establishments on the islands or are substitute teachers.
The second phase will take place on Monday 18 May, when tourism workers and the necessary labour force will be allowed to travel to the islands, provided they have documents from their employer.
If all goes well by then, access to the islands will be possible for Greeks and foreign travellers from 1 June.
On Friday Lufthansa announced that commercial flights to Athens from Frankfurt airport will resume on 18 May.
May 8, 2020 (Friday):
Today, 13 new corona cases (to a total of 2,691, of which 1,167 are active and 32 are severe), two more deaths (to a total of 150).
The Greek Minister of Tourism said on Thursday that all tourists who want to travel to Greece this summer after the start of the season on July 1 must have tested negative for the coronavirus before boarding the plane to enter the country.
Next Wednesday, announcements are expected from the European Commission on tourism and transport. From June Crete will again be part of Lufthansa’s scheduled flights. Further details of the June flight schedule will be announced next week.
In the meantime, however, it has become known that the far-reaching restrictions on entry into the EU due to the Corona crisis should be extended by a further 30 days until 15 June in the view of the EU Commission. This was proposed by the Brussels authority today.
On Monday the 11. May open again: Shops for audio and video equipment, textiles, iron, paint and glass, carpets, floor and wall coverings, electrical household appliances, furniture, lighting and other household items, music and pictures, toys of all kinds of clothing, shoes and leather goods, cosmetics, watches and jewelry, new and used items, Rental and leasing of recreational and sporting goods, rental of video cassettes and records, rental and leasing of other types of personal or household use, as well as shops operating under cooperation agreements, driving schools, companies engaged in gambling and betting in a physical store, and dietary services.
May 7, 2020 (Thursday):
Today, 15 new corona cases (to a total of 2,678, of which 1,156 are active and 33 with a severe course), one more death (to a total of 148).
On May 15, the Greek government will announce its concept and the conditions for this year’s tourism season.
The president of the Lasithi hoteliers: ‘Technically impossible to open in July’.
A part of a hotel can be opened where the guest is isolated and can have room service, so no access to public areas is necessary. In cases where owners have many hotels, each will open one or even half of them in August. As Mr Varkarakis characteristically said: ‘You cannot have a hotel that resembles a hospital and where the employee greets the visitor with a smile through a mask’.
From 18 May 2020, movement will be allowed on the Greek mainland, but not on the islands. The islands will probably remain restricted until the start of the tourism season.
From 18 May onwards, the archaeological sites will gradually be reopened. From 15 June, the museums will follow and from 15 July, open-air cultural events, all with increased safety distances between visitors.
The Greek police services carry out checks throughout the country to detect any breach of the measures to prevent and limit the spread of coronavirus.
In this context, yesterday, Wednesday 6 May, in Crete, only one offense was confirmed for failure to observe distances and not using a mask, while 12 Cretans drove out of the prefecture and had to pay 150 euros.
At the same time, in Crete and especially in Ierapetra, a violation of the measures in a company was confirmed and the owner was arrested (5000 Euro fine).
May 6, 2020 (Wednesday):
Today 21 new corona cases, 11 of which are from the armed forces (a total of 2,663 cases, of which 1,142 are active and 36 are severe). In addition, one more death to now a total of 147.
On the dangers of a possible corona infection on the beach or in a pool: ‘The modes of transmission are now known, they are the droplets’, says Ms Psaroulaki and notes that the virus is ‘transmitted by aerosols, which can be produced in a swimming pool … distances must also be maintained in the sea, where they can be transmitted not by water but by air, for example if someone next to us coughs’.
Even on the beach it is difficult to transmit the virus, as studies have shown that its lifespan is one hour in an environment with high temperatures and high humidity,’ she added.
She stressed, however, that overcrowding remains dangerous for coronavirus transmission and that beaches are no exception. As Ms Psaroulaki explained, ‘the fact that the sunbeds are very close, without keeping their distance, the bar where we go for a drink after a bath is where the virus is transmitted’.
May 5, 2020 (Tuesday):
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hopes to open the summer tourist season on 1st July.
The Greek Prime Minister said in the interview that he would describe the potential conditions that would allow foreigners to enter the country: prior testing for COVID-19, European health protocols and surveillance. And he stressed that the holiday experience in Greece will be radically different from previous years, given the rules of social distance and only ‘provided that the global epidemic is on the decline’.
The best scenario is that Greece will open for business on July 1st, and we are working towards that,’ Mitsotakis told CNN. But of course this affects the airlines, because most people fly to Greece and that requires very strict but enforceable protocols.
The government’s plan to resume or support tourism was announced by the Minister of Tourism:
Protocols are being prepared for hotels, marinas, sailing, transport in tourist buses, airplanes, etc. They are realistic, the minister said, adding that the conditions are such that neither the health of citizens, nor the reputation of destinations, nor the health of visitors will be endangered.
Greek tourism will be ready to receive tourists. But if the German government, the Russian government and the US government quarantine those who return from our country, no tourists will come.
The president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers, Grigoris Tassios, instead … is forecasting a ‘black year’ for tourism this year and is pinning his hopes on salvation ‘in God and in Lagarde’, in other words European money …
While the opening of the border can be seen as a simple process, the arrival of “pure” holidaymakers on the shores is currently the big problem for our tourism. “Suppose the borders are opened, foreign tourists come, check that they are not infected with the virus, and in a tourist accommodation unit there is a case from our own origin. Shouldn’t it be quarantined? And what does it mean for those who have spent money to come? There are many complex issues that need to be addressed.
Movements outside the prefecture and administrative district of permanent residence and will be prohibited until 06:00 a.m. on 18 May 2020 – with a few unavoidable exceptions.
By noon today, fines (€150 each) have been imposed on three Cretans who did not wear masks and did not keep their distance.
For unauthorized movements outside the prefecture of the place of residence etc., 5 offenses in Crete were fined 150 € each.
Today ten new corona cases in Greece (to a total of 2,642, of which 1,122 are active and 35 are serious), no deaths. For more than three weeks now, no corona case has been detected in Crete.
May 4, 2020 (Monday):
Again, only six new corona cases (to 2,632, of which 1,112 are active and 35 with a severe course), and two more deaths (to a total of 146).
According to the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment, Nikos Papathanasis, the following companies were reopened today:
The Assortment Bookstore stores, newspapers and stationery materials, computers, peripherals and software, telecommunications equipment, sports equipment, flowers, MOT, hairdressing salons, barber shops, beauty salons, shoeshine services and visual and shops selling hearing aids.
Call for PLANNING: Estimate your strategy for the immediate and distant future of the business. Calculate the probability of new cases and new measures to limit business activity in the fall. Check whether the business model is feasible and adjust it if necessary. If necessary, ask government bodies, the relevant associations and chambers for help.
Corona cases in Greece
Official government site about Corona cases in Greece
Information from the Greek Ministry of Health on Coronavirus in Greece (English)
Official Greek information site on coronavirus (Greek)