The Corona Rules in Crete during the 2020 summer season.
For arrival in Crete, airport, transfers, car rental, hotel, beaches, swimming pools, restaurants, cafés and bars, shopping, museums and archaeological sites.
Status: June 16, 2020
Arrival on Crete
The 2020 tourist season in Greece officially began on 15 June and international guests can already arrive at Athens and Thessaloniki airports without quarantine. From July 1, direct international flights will be allowed at all other airports in the country, so tourists will be able to fly directly into Crete.
However, all passengers are obliged to fill in a so-called exit card (PLF) until 31 August 2020. In this way they provide information about the airport of departure, their home address, the time of their stay in Greece and other details.
See: Protocol for arrivals in Greece.
However, random COVID-19 tests will be carried out on arriving travellers. They are obliged to wait for the result of the test in their assigned hotel or at their destination, which should normally be available by the next day. If the test is positive, a 14-day quarantine is ordered.
At Heraklion airport, 825 samples are to be taken every day, which will be tested in the clinical biology laboratory of the University of Crete. These will now be targeted tests based on special software that calculates which visitors are more likely to be carriers of the corona viruses.
At the airport
The wearing of face masks is mandatory after entering the airport terminal. A mask must be worn throughout a passenger’s stay in the airport area, when boarding and during the flight (domestic or international). Passengers should also be aware that they may be asked to temporarily remove their mask during security processes and identity checks. Hand disinfectant dispensers are available at the airport, including toilets.
Plexiglas’ panels have been installed for additional protection in areas where contact with staff is required, such as ticket counters and information desks. To reduce waiting times, passengers are encouraged to use e-service options (e.g. web check-in) before departure for the airport and within the airport areas. Seating in all waiting areas has been rearranged to allow for safe minimum distances. The current recommendation is that every second seat should remain free. However, families or couples travelling together do not have to keep this distance.
All transfer buses may only be used up to 50% of their capacity. All passengers must wear protective masks. All coaches must provide hand disinfectants at the entrance. Companies are recommended to install transparent protective partitions between the driver and passengers on the buses. In special tourist coaches, passengers may not board at bus stops until all passengers have left. It is recommended to clean surfaces and high contact points (e.g. handles) after each journey.
Guest transport is only permitted in private vehicles. Vehicles with up to 5 seats cannot be occupied by more than one passenger plus the driver. Accompanying persons with disabilities are excluded from this regulation. Vehicles with 6-7 seats can carry the driver plus two passengers, while vehicles with 8-9 seats can carry up to 3 passengers. The passenger limit does not apply if the passengers are parents with their children. The driver and passengers must all wear masks.
Wearing masks is also obligatory in taxis, although the same restrictions apply to the number of passengers.
Rental cars are disinfected between uses by different customers. In addition, the number of passengers allowed is limited: In vehicles with up to five seats, only the driver and one passenger may sit in the vehicle. In vehicles with 6-7 seats, only the driver and two passengers are allowed. In vehicles with eight or nine seats, the driver may carry up to three passengers. These restrictions do not apply to families with children.
At the hotel
The check-in and check-out times for hotels have been changed: Check-out until 11:00 and check-in until 15:00. The extra time between checkout and check-in is necessary to ensure that each room is thoroughly disinfected and adequately ventilated between stays.
At the reception you may see a Plexiglas window, but this is at the discretion of the hotel management. Hand disinfectants are obligatory.
Among the further measures that the hotel has to accomplish, there is the disinfection of all cards and keys after each stay. Wherever possible, it is recommended to check in at an outdoor reception desk. The use of electronic alternatives for check-in and check-out, such as mobile concierge apps, is preferable, as is electronic payment at check-out. It is likely that all accounts, bills or receipts will be sent by e-mail. Cash is only accepted in exceptional circumstances.
Room cleaning will be less frequent during the stays this year. Towels and bed linen will only be changed on request of the guests.
Hotel owners have the choice between two cleaning methods: After the departure of a guest, the room can be cleaned as usual, but must then be kept closed for 24 hours until the next use. Alternatively, a thorough cleaning and disinfection with a steam cleaner, UV rays or other devices of this kind can be applied to all surfaces of the room and bathroom.
Hotel owners have been advised not to use decorative items such as cushions. Disposable plastic covers should be pulled over the remote controls of TVs and air conditioners. Upholstery materials must be cleaned with a steam jet cleaner at temperatures above 70 °C.
A maximum of 40 people per 1,000 m² is allowed on organized beaches. An entrance and exit count will be carried out to ensure that this measure is observed. There must be a minimum distance of 4 meters between the individual umbrellas, each of which may provide shade for a maximum of two sunbeds. However, this does not apply to families with children.
Two sun loungers under different umbrellas may not be placed closer than 1.5 meters to each other.
It is compulsory and the user is responsible for placing a towel on the sunbeds. The staff of organized beaches and beach clubs is obliged to disinfect the sun loungers and chairs after each use. They must also regularly disinfect the sanitary facilities and post a cleaning schedule for official inspection.
Canteens and beach bars are run for take-away only and seating is not allowed. Customers queuing to be served must keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. The sale of alcohol is currently still prohibited on the beaches.
Sun loungers must be positioned in such a way that two people sitting under two different parasols, or two people sitting in two different areas, are at least 2 meters apart in each direction. Each time a guest leaves the area, seats, tables, safety boxes, menus and all other items that the next customer can use must be disinfected. It is recommended that towels be provided in the pools to cover the bed areas and that every sun lounger and chair be cleaned between uses. It is recommended to remove cushions and fabric covers from sunbeds.
The use of indoor swimming pools is forbidden until further notice. Opaque partitions are recommended for swimming pool showers so that people can wash thoroughly before entering and after leaving the water. Swimming pools are recommended to provide all necessary accessories (soap, shower gel, etc.) and antiseptic gel at the entrance of the showers.
Visiting restaurants, cafés and bars
Until now, all seats in restaurants and cafés or bars were only outside. The indoor areas can be reopened from 15 June. The minimum permissible distance between tables is 70 to 170 cm, and no more than six people may be seated at any one table, although these restrictions do not apply to families with children.
Information signs are to indicate the hygiene rules and other safety measures that apply to all areas. Guests are encouraged to conduct electronic transactions. Hand gel will be available at the cash desks and, if the owner deems it necessary, a Plexiglas panel will be provided and markings will be placed on the floor to indicate safety distances for queuing.
It is possible that you have to wait a few minutes before you can enter a shop. In smaller shops of up to 20 m², a maximum of 4 people (including staff) is allowed. Shops from 20 to 100 m² can accommodate at least 4 people, plus one person for every 10 m² over and above the 20 m². Shops of 100 m² and more can accommodate a maximum of 12 people, plus one person for each additional 15 m². Distances of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained by customers and staff and the use of masks is compulsory.
It is not excluded, especially when entering public buildings, to have the body temperature measured by a hand scanner.
Museums, archaeological sites, etc.
The museums will reopen from 15 June. Visitors must keep a distance of 2 meters between them. Museums can only use air conditioning systems where they operate in an open circuit with fresh air. Only a limited number of people will be allowed access every hour. The use of protective masks and alcohol-based antiseptic hand disinfectants is recommended.
Also, at archaeological sites only a limited number of visitors are allowed at the same time.
Where are masks mandatory ?
At the hairdresser, in shops and on all types of public transport. Basically, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters to other people should be maintained (even in queues) and masks are always recommended.
The fine for a missing mandatory mask is €150.
The European emergency number is 112, and for all COVID-19 related inquiries there is the number 1135.
All information without guarantee – the rules are subject to constant updates!
Information from the Greek Ministry of Health on Coronavirus in Greece (English)
Official Greek information site on coronavirus (Greek)
Protocol for arrivals in Greece.
Free Printable Information Posters and Signs for COVID-19