Greek islands and ferries open and ready for big first wave of tourists in Greece

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Greek islands and ferries open and ready for big first wave of tourists in GreeceFerry service to islands resumed in Greece on May 25 with another lifting of COVID-19 Coronavirus restrictions, while bars and cafes opened with conditions, and measures were being put in place for tourism to start up

Greece is now reopening to welcome the first big wave of tourists after its successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told BBC News TV on Monday, according to ANA.

He went on to say that Greece received rave reviews for its swift tackling of the pandemic while the Greek economy's restart is progressing very well so far. "We are optimistic that we will welcome millions of tourists again," he continued.

In the meanwhile, ferry service to islands resumed in Greece on May 25 with another lifting of COVID-19 Coronavirus restrictions, while bars and cafes opened with conditions, and measures were being put in place for tourism to start up.

Museums,  galleries, entertainment and concert spaces stay closed, over the protests of artists who said they’re being shut out of work and relief measures, with the New Democracy government concentrating on letting hotels and the tourist sector begin.

Travel to the islands had been generally off-limits since a lockdown was imposed on March 23 to prevent the spread of the virus, with only goods suppliers and permanent residents offered access.

But the country’s low infection rate during the pandemic prompted the government to start the holiday season three weeks earlier than the expected June 15 date, as other Mediterranean countries, including Italy, Spain, and Turkey, are still struggling.

That could give Greece a head start on the summer season, a critical period for a sector that is the country’s biggest revenue driver, and in 2019 saw 34 million visitors bring in 19.5 billion euros ($21.33 billion) to help speed recovery from a near decade-long crisis.

As of May 25, Greece had 2,878 cases and 172 deaths in a country of 11 million people, on of the world’s top records in dealing with the pandemic, aided by the early and strict lockdown that kept people mostly in their homes.

Greece’s tourism rivals are still dealing with COVID-19. Italy has seen nearly 33,000 coronavirus patients die, Spain has had almost 29,000 dead and Turkey has had 4,340 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Social distancing regulations and passenger limits have been adopted for ferries and at restaurants to ward off new infections, limiting the number of passengers to 50 percent of capacity, 55 percent if cabins are used, and people required to be at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart where possible.

State-run health services to combat the coronavirus are being expanded to the islands, with intensive care units being placed on five islands: Lesbos, Samos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, and Corfu, along with existing ICU facilities on the island of Crete.

SIDEWALK SERVICE

Bars and restaurants and taverns will be limited to outdoor service and required to keep tables further apart with no explanation of how that would work on sidewalks that had already been taken over before the virus hit.

Places that had been allowed to serve take-out food and beverages saw people congregate on sidewalks anyway, so many in some places that parties were going on, police not reacting to break them up.

Popular areas of Greece’s capital, such as downtown Psyrri and Varnava Square in the neighborhood Mets, and in the northern port city of Thessaloniki have also been flooded with nightlife in scenes.

Read the full report at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: pixabay.com

 

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