Part 10: Opening for the Corona season

The evolution of the situation and impact on tourism in Crete and Greece by the coronavirus from June 1, 2020.

Latest important updates on the corona situation on Crete here on CreteTip !

 beach in Aghios Nikolaos
A beach in Aghios Nikolaos during the last season.

Next part: Corona crisis in Crete since June 28, 2020.

The Latest updates on the situation in Crete and Greece:

June 24, 2020 (Wednesday):

From 1 July, all tourists suspected of having tested positive for coronavirus must be accommodated in so-called quarantine rooms of hotels in Crete.

On Monday (June 22) and Tuesday (June 23) a total of 37 new corona cases were registered (to a total of 3,302, of which 1,738 are active and 8 are severe). The number of deaths has not increased.
Of the 16 cases yesterday, eight occurred in the prefecture of Xanthi in north-eastern Greece and two at the ‘Promachonas’ border crossing with Bulgaria.

June 22, 2020 (Monday):

Over the weekend, 39 new corona cases (to a total of 3,266, of which 1,702 were active and 9 severe), as well as two further deaths (to a total of 190).

By Saturday, June 20, seven of these were air passengers arriving from abroad and two others by land via the Greek-Bulgarian border crossing at Promachona.

June 18, 2020 (Thursday):

In Crete, a 20-year-old Swede was admitted to the hospital in Chania with Corona.
49 of the 55 cases from yesterday occurred in the counties of Xanthi (43) and Rodopi (6), while another three were found in the county of Pellas, two in Athens and one in a passenger on an international flight. The prefectures of Canthi and Pellas were placed under strict quarantine.

Today, there are a further 24 corona cases throughout Greece (to a total of 3,227, of which 1,665 are active and 10 are severe), and one more death (to a total of 188).

June 17, 2020 (Wednesday):

Today, 55 new corona cases were recorded in Greece, the highest number since 23 April. In total now 3,203 cases, of which 1,642 are active and 12 are severe. In addition, two more deaths to a total of 187.

At Thessaloniki airport all passengers have to undergo a test. Until the result is known, the travelers can stay in a hotel. Passengers infected with the coronavirus must be placed in a 14-day quarantine.

Due to the resurgence of Corona in various countries, it is expected that inspections of foreign visitors will be carried out during the tourist season and that there is a plan to test even up to 60 % of the people entering.

The borders with Turkey, Albania and Northern Macedonia will remain closed until 1 July.

June 16, 2020 (Tuesday):

Today, 14 new corona cases in Greece (total now 3,148, of which 1,589 are active and 12 are severe), one more death (to 185).

Corona tests were carried out on the first flights to Thessaloniki, allowing the persons concerned to travel on to their destination and only had to leave their contact details so that they could be informed of the result.

In accordance with current security regulations, all passengers from Albania, Belgium, France, Italy, Northern Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden landing in Athens will be tested. Passengers from other European destinations are only tested on a random basis. The tests on Monday lasted about 45 minutes.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said today that those who are tested must stay for one day in a hotel of their choice. Should anyone be infected, they would have to go into a 14-day quarantine.

June 15, 2020 (Monday):

Potamos Beach at Malia
Potamos Beach at Malia one day before the start of the official tourism season.
The official 2020 tourist season begins today with the first international charter flights to Athens and Thessaloniki, with passengers not having to undergo the obligatory coronavirus test on arrival. However, visitors to Greece will still have to undergo random coronavirus testing for an indefinite period of time.
International direct flights to regional airports, including airports on the Greek islands, will start on 1 July.

A total of 26 new cases of corona in Greece over the weekend (to a total of 3,134, of which 1,576 are active and 13 severe), and one more death today (to a total of 184)

The Potamos Beach of Malia in the view of the drone, one day before the beginning of the tourist season 2020 after the Coronavirus lockdown:

June 12, 2020 (Friday):

Greece will open all its borders and airports to tourists on 1 July: the ban on flights from Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will be lifted from 15 June, while the arrival of ships from abroad will continue to be prohibited.

From 1 July, travelers from all countries of origin will be able to arrive in Greece by filling in an online form with their contact details.

Samples for COVID-19 will be taken at airports and the persons concerned will be obliged to wait for the test results in a designated hotel. A 7-day hotel stay is required for negative results and a 14-day hotel stay for positive results.
Both mobile and floating units at airports or islands will collect test samples. Islands will be able to process the results quickly, thanks to local analysis equipment placed on islands. 446 simple beds and 19 intensive care beds for COVID-19 have been reserved on the islands, which can be expanded to 674 and 79 respectively if necessary.

Today, 20 new corona cases (to a total of 3,108, of which 1,551 are active and 14 are severe).

June 11, 2020 (Thursday):

Today, 20 more corona cases (to a total of 3,088, of which 1,531 are active and 14 with a severe course).

To date, 1,300 corona tests have been carried out on incoming travelers, 30 (2.3 %) of which have turned out positive.

Experts are urging Greeks to make greater efforts to comply with health protocols aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus after the last surge in infections, while Greece is preparing to open its borders to tourists.
The Panhellenic Medical Association said strict compliance with health and distance regulations was key to protecting the country from the pandemic. It is impossible to test all the 5 to 10 million tourists who may come to Greece this year.

June 10, 2020 (Wednesday):

Today, ten new corona cases (to a total of 3,068, of which 1,511 are active and 10 with severe course), no further deaths.

The first flights to the airport ‘N. Kazantzakis’ airport in Heraklion will be arriving from Germany on 1 July. “>According to Chalkiadakis, 400,000 German tourists will visit Crete during the entire tourist season, while 1,200,000 Germans will arrive in Crete in 2019.
For Crete, it will be ‘the worst July, which is more like April’, as hotel occupancy will not exceed 15%. If there are Coronas Falls in a hotel in Crete, it can be closed.

Everybody is welcome in Crete, but more tests may be carried out at airports, as the 30 to 40 tests per plane so far are not enough and the number of cases will increase. Greater concern is being expressed by the 30 foreign travelers who have come to Greece from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the USA since last Thursday and have tested positive for corona.

June 9, 2020 (Tuesday):

Due to a sharp increase in the number of corona cases in the last few days, daily reports from the Greek health authority are again being published. On Sunday, as already reported, 30 cases were found, on Monday 52 cases were reported yesterday and today nine more cases were reported, at least 30 of them involving travelers.
The total number in Greece now stands at 3,058 cases, of which 1,501 are active cases and ten are serious. Another death today, totaling 183.

The authorities have been alarmed by several cases throughout the country, where corona rules have been broken, especially recently on the weekend. A popular bar in Mykonos was closed for a total of 60 days for violating the rules of social distancing, which were adopted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas warned on Monday that the national authorities will impose a new curfew in regions where people break the corona rules.

June 7, 2020 (Sunday):

Today and yesterday a total of 30 new corona cases (to a total of 2,997, of which 1,443 are active and 9 are severe), but no further deaths since Thursday.

Doctor Dermitzakis estimates that about 6,000 to 10,000 tourists will enter the country this season with asymptomatic and about 600 to 700 with symptoms.

June 5, 2020 (Friday):

15 new corona cases reported on the official government website for COVID-19.

June 4, 2020 (Wednesday):

Yesterday and today a total of 15 new corona cases (to a total of 2,952, 1,398 of them active and 11 with a severe course), one more death (now a total of 180).

June 2, 2020 (Tuesday):

Today 19 more corona cases in Greece (to a total of 2,937, of which 1,384 are active and 11 are severe), as a flight from Qatar arrived with 12 infected persons. Flights to and from Qatar will therefore be suspended for the time being.

Since yesterday, year-round hotels, pools, golf courses and open-air cinemas have been allowed to reopen, but only a few hotels did so. Primary schools also reopened.
In the first week since reopening, restaurant sales have fallen by 80% and café sales by 60% compared to the time before the lockdown.

Strict rules apply to beaches for this season. Beach bars are only allowed to serve drinks such as coffee and fresh fruit juices, as well as packaged food at the counter for take-away and for customers’ parasols. Music is forbidden, so that nobody gathers at the bar to counteract a party atmosphere. Organized events such as parties as well as group sports such as beach volleyball or football remain prohibited.
Only 40 visitors per 1,000 square metres with a distance of at least 4 metres between the parasols are allowed.

June 1, 2020 (Monday):

The Greek government has made it clear that in addition to permanent residents of the countries announced so far, all tourists landing in Greece from so-called ‘safe airports’ on the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) constantly updated list from 15 June onwards will also be allowed to enter the country.
However, tourists coming from airports on the EASA list are required to be tested for COVID-19 after landing in Greece and to stay in a designated hotel for one day to await the test results.
If the test is negative, these visitors are then obliged to undergo a 7-day quarantine. If their sample is positive, they remain in a 14-day quarantine and their health is monitored.

Today only one more case of corona (to a total of 2,918, of which 1,365 are active and 12 are severe), but four deaths (to a total of 179).

Here to the previous part: Corona situation on Crete until May 31, 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)
Protocol for arrivals in Greece.

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