Part 8: Corona Touriusmus restart on Crete

The evolution of the situation and impact on tourism in Crete and Greece by the coronavirus from May 11, 2020.

Daily updates on the corona situation on Crete here on CreteTip !

Pedestrian shopping street in Agios Nikolaos
Pedestrian shopping street in Agios Nikolaos on Crete in the ‘pre-Corona period’.

Next part: Corona crisis in Crete since May 20, 2020.

The Latest updates on the situation in Crete and Greece:

May 19, 2020 (Tuesday):

Four more corona cases (to a total of 2,840, of which 1,301 are active and 24 are severe) and no further deaths.

The government’s plan for employment, economy and tourism will now be presented only tomorrow, Wednesday, by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

For Crete, Greek virologists reported the following:
The rise in temperature reduces the survival of the virus by 30 percent in the open air.
Regarding the opening of Crete: the only way to move the economy is to accept an extremely low risk rate. A second lockdown cannot be ruled out, but this possibility is extremely low because people are now more suspicious.

As for herd immunity, a study shows that in Spain only 5% of the population has antibodies. In Spain there are more than 278,000 confirmed cases and at least 27,700 deaths. The rate of Spain is far from the necessary amount for ‘herd immunity’, which for the virus must be at least 70% of the population of each country. In Greece this percentage is less than 1%.
A re-infection with the virus can be more dangerous than the first one. There is a possibility that someone who falls ill for the second time will be hit more seriously. This is the case with dengue fever, for example, and this possibility cannot yet be completely ruled out for Corona either.

May 18, 2020 (Monday):

Check-in at the airport in Heraklion.
Check-in at the airport in Heraklion.
As of today, Monday, movement from prefecture to prefecture by train, KTEL buses, tourist buses and airplanes will be allowed, after the restrictive measures imposed by the government have been lifted.
From today, movement of citizens outside the prefectures is also allowed on the mainland, in Crete and in Evia.
In addition to various other requirements, masks and a 50% occupancy rate are compulsory on all public transport.

So far not many cancellations have been made at the small hotels in Crete and tomorrow health protocols will be announced which will apply to tourism.

Today only two more cases of corona (to a total of 2,836, of which 1,297 are active and 24 with a severe course), but also two deaths (to a total of 165).

May 17, 2020 (Sunday):

Today, 15 more corona cases (to a total of 2,834, of which 1,297 are active and 22 have a severe course), as well as another death (to a total of 163).

May 16, 2020 (Saturday):

Today, there are nine more corona cases (to a total of 2,819, of which 1,283 are active and 23 are severe), and two more deaths (to a total of 162).

The 515 organised beaches in Greece were opened today, whose operation is subject to strict rules and conditions due to the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
In particular on organised beaches, which are controlled from the entrance, including fever measurement, the maximum number of bathers is 40 persons per 1,000 m² and it is compulsory to record the number of participants.
With regard to the distance between the umbrellas, the minimum distance between the axes of the umbrellas is set at 4 metres, while the minimum distance of 1 metre is defined between the circumference of the shade of the two umbrellas.
In the case of sun loungers, up to 2 sun loungers per parasol are allowed, except for families with underage children. Furthermore, two sunbeds on different parasols must be at least 1.5 metres apart.
The associated shops namely canteens, refreshment, coffee bars, work exclusively with the disposal of products in a take-away package. Their products are only sold packed and it is forbidden to prepare them on site. It is also forbidden to sell and sell alcoholic beverages.

Restaurants and cafés open on 25 May:
Tables for four or five people, if a family of five is coming with three minors.
Salt, pepper and dressing are all disposable, to minimize the contact of objects from person to person.
Antiseptics on the tables.
Masks and gloves for the staff.
Fans in enclosed spaces facing outwards, no air conditioning.

May 15, 2020 (Friday):

According to the government, the reopening of tourist accommodation will be allowed on 10 June.
It is compulsory to use a mask for all public transport, including planes, trains and KTEL buses. No food or drinks will be available at the same time.
In May, Agean Airlines plans to resume flights from Athens to Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt and Geneva with a low initial frequency.
The requirement of a max. 72 hours old corona test for anyone wishes to holiday in Greece from July 1st is not excluded.
Flights to and from the UK will probably be banned.
All government measures for this year’s tourist season will be presented next week.

From Monday, travel to the Greek islands by ferry will again be permitted, but under increased safety regulations.

Greece extends the entry ban on third-country nationals until at least 15 June.

35 more Corona cases in a Roma settlement near Larissa, which has been quarantined. Two refugees who arrived illegally from the Turkish coast in a rubber dinghy tested positive for the coronavirus.
A total of 40 further coronary cases (to a total of 2,810, of which 1,276 were active and 23 severe) and four further deaths (to a total of 160).

May 14, 2020 (Thursday):

Today, ten more corona cases (to a total of 2,770, of which 1,240 are active and 24 with a severe course), one more death (to a total of 156).

The Greek government welcomed the submitted EU guidelines and announced an overall plan for tourism in the coming days.

AEGEAN Airlines announces that it will take the first step to strengthen its air connections from 18 May onwards: to Heraklion, Chania, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis and then on 25 May to Rhodes, Corfu, Mytilene, Chios, Samos and the other Greek destinations.

May 13, 2020 (Wednesday):

According to reports, the German and Greek ministries of tourism are in close contact to agree on a bilateral travel agreement in view of the Corona pandemic. Similar efforts are probably being made with Austria.

The EU Commission announced the guidelines for the opening of the European borders and the resumption of travel. The airlines should not be obliged to leave the intermediate seats in the aircraft empty. However, passengers both in the aircraft and at the airports will have to wear masks.
People should be able to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants or go safely to the beach, although these freedoms would change if there will be a new wave of infection.
In areas where a large wave of tourists can be expected (such as islands), there must be sufficient capacity in the health system for locals and tourists so that in the event of a sudden increase in corona cases, primary care, hospital and intensive care are not overloaded.
The EU plan also includes the development of health and safety protocols for beaches, hotels, campsites, B&B’s, cafés and restaurants to protect guests and employees from
The commission also recommends extending restrictions on unnecessary travel to the 26 Schengen countries by 30 days until 15 June.

However, Greece will probably have to do without tourists from the UK, as Health Minister Matt Hancock noted that they are unlikely to be allowed to spend the summer abroad. The British government is also planning to enforce a 14-day quarantine for travelers returning from abroad to avert a second wave of the pandemic.

The organized beaches will be reopened at the weekend, as other places by the sea have become overcrowded due to the current heatwave in Greece and Crete.
From 25 May, free movement will be allowed on all islands in the Saronic Gulf, the Aegean and the Ionian Sea.

Today there are 16 more cases of corona (to a total of 2,760, of which 1,231 are active and 28 are severe), and three more deaths (to a total of 155).
Ten of these cases occurred in a Roma settlement in the central Greek city of Larissa, seven of them within a single family. Two further cases occurred in a migrant camp on Lesvos.

May 12, 2020 (Tuesday):

Today, 18 more corona diseases have been reported (to 2,744, of which 1,218 are active and 32 have a severe course), as well as one more death (to 152).

As of next Monday, May 18th, movements on the Greek mainland and to and from Crete will be released, while for the other islands, the release of movement as of May 25th is being considered.
The churches will reopen on 17 May with public services and ceremonies.

May 11, 2020 (Monday):

Today ten more Corona cases, including the 19th case on Crete after four weeks. This brings the total number of cases in Greece to 2,726, of which 1,201 are active and 32 are severe cases. No further deaths today, so there are still 151 deaths.

As of today, owners and employees of companies for which reopening has been announced as of today are allowed to travel to the islands or between islands.
Lufthansa is increasing the number of flights to Greece from the current 30 to 106. The holiday island of Crete is now again among the destinations.

According to survey results, 82% of Greeks are satisfied with the way head of government Kyriakos Mitsotakis has handled the Corona pandemic so far. 56% are optimistic about tackling the corona pandemic in the coming period and 74% are in favour of punishing those who do not comply with the restrictive measures or corresponding bans and instructions.
However, the majority of Greeks fear tourists and only 14.5% agree to some extent that Greece should open its borders to all of them during the summer.

Here to the previous part: Corona situation on Crete until May 10, 2020.

Further information

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)

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