The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2 Everything you want to ask, read or write about Sfakia, southwest Crete, or Crete island in general.

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Erno
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The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 14 Jul 2020, 09:33

This is part 2 of the original topic, started here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1362

Plan to lift flight bans, impose restrictions - 14 July, 2020

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The government’s plan to contain the coronavirus to the greatest possible extent while keeping alive the country’s crucial tourism season foresees a gradual lifting of bans on flights from certain higher-risk countries alongside new measures to avert the spread of the virus, such as a ban on summer festivals.

During a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday, it was decided that the so-called “panigyria” held by village communities to celebrate the feast days of patron saints, would be banned until the end of July. The events draw hundreds, sometimes even thousands, and are viewed by experts as particularly dangerous.

Meanwhile authorities are tightening inspections at land borders. From Wednesday, border officials will only be allowing travelers with negative Covid-19 test results to enter the Promachonas border crossing with Bulgaria, while also increasing inspections at the Albanian border crossings of Kakavia and Krystalopigi.

The additional checks have been decided due to a spike in infections related to tourism from the Balkans, government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters on Monday. In the first 11 days of July, authorities recorded four times as many positive coronavirus tests at the Greek-Bulgarian border crossing of Promachonas than at Athens airport, he said.

Petsas also announced that Greece will allow direct flights from Britain and Sweden as of July 15 and July 22 respectively, and that it is even considering permitting arrivals from the United States at the end of the month, depending on developments with the pandemic and provided travelers can show a negative coronavirus test conducted up to 72 hours prior to their arrival. In the event that numbers spike again, the government is prepared to impose fresh restrictions, Petsas said.

Of the 24 new Covid-19 cases reported on Monday, four were foreign travelers intercepted on arrival while three more tourists visited health centers after developing symptoms. The nationwide number of cases stands at 3,826, with deaths still at 193.

A study carried out by Thessalonikis’s Aristotle University by Dimosthenis Sarigiannis of its chemical engineering faculty predicted a big rise in cases by the end of July if the government does not take more restrictive measures and sensitize the public into displaying more caution.

He warned of 5,200 cases by the end of July and 8,000 by mid-August.

From: https://www.ekathimerini.com/254701/art ... strictions
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 14 Jul 2020, 09:45

Air arrivals drop by up to 84% - 14 July, 2020

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Anyone hoping that Greece’s successful handling of the pandemic and its opening to international tourism in early July would give Greek tourism a good push are starting to experience disappointment as arrivals fail to take off.

This disappointing performance is reflected not just in low occupancy rates at the hotels that have reopened, but also in figures concerning the main entry gates from abroad: Passenger traffic at the country’s airports in the first 12 days of July has contracted dramatically by between 75% and 84% in Athens and the 14 regional airports respectively.

Furthermore, available seats on airplanes are already down by 60%-65% compared with last year, as carriers try to balance out their spending with reduced demand by stopping services or using smaller aircraft.

The statistics show that international passenger traffic has predictably dropped far more than domestic traffic, which is usually the other way around during the typical summer season. At the 14 regional airports managed by Fraport Greece, including Thessaloniki’s Makedonia, in the first 12 days of July domestic flights recorded a decline by 47.9%, while international ones posted a reduction of 71%.

Passenger traffic at those airports was down 62.1% for domestic flights and 87.9% for international, leading to an overall reduction rate of 83.8%.

On July 1-12, just 262,980 passengers landed at or departed from the 14 regional airports, against 1.62 million at the same time last year. There were 1.2 million fewer international flight passengers, while domestic flights only showed a slide by 161,000 passengers.

The situation is slightly better at Athens International Airport: Passenger traffic over the first 12 days of July was down by 75% from last year, with 55% fewer flights and 63% fewer seats made available by carriers. This follows a reduction of 87.9% in June, 96.3% in May and 98.8% in April.

Across the 14 regional airports, June was only marginally better than the previous two months, posting a reduction by 95.7% compared to the same month last year.

From: https://www.ekathimerini.com/254698/art ... y-up-to-84
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 22 Jul 2020, 09:44

Summer without tourists in the interior of Western Crete - 22 July, 2020

kournas-empty.jpg


EMPTY TABLES
“The traffic is frustrating. We do not have even 20% of other years from people ", says a resident of Agia Galini Rethymno who has been active in tourism for the last 20 years.
The tables in the cafes in front of the port of the picturesque settlement are empty. The same goes for the umbrella seats on the adjacent beach.
"Maybe it's his fault it's early," we think. "Maybe it would have been better not to open at all this year", confesses a man from the area, just before we leave the south of Rethymno for further north.

"BEST CLOSED"
Next stop is the beautiful Argyroupoli. The images we saw are unprecedented. You used to not find a table to sit in such a season and the traffic jams down in the shops with the water were a given. Now few foreign visitors walk lazily and wonder about the water from the springs. "Most do not sit down to eat. "They just come for a walk," says a child who works in a health store.
We sit in one of the shops and catch a conversation with the owner about the situation that prevails this year: “People were not out all of July. It is better not to open, the operating costs are a lot for a store ", he notes with bitterness and adds that only on Sundays something moves in the area.

A little while later we depart for Apokoronas. As we approach the lake of Kournas we observe floating bicycles to cut rides in the waters of the lake, indicating the presence of visitors.
"Something is happening, of course not like in other years," says the girl who serves us coffee. "In any case, what you see is a very relaxed situation," adds our interlocutor with a smile.
As people in the area tell us, this year the Poles made their presence felt in Kournas, in an area traditionally visited by many German and British tourists.
Wherever foreign visitors come from, they are valuable, in a year when the tourism economy is in "free fall" due to the covid-19 pandemic.

LOW OCCUPATION
From Kournas we pull north and decide to visit Georgioupolis, one of the most important tourist poles of the Municipality of Apokoronas.
We walk on the coastal road. We notice some closed stores. "The fullness reaches 15% to 25%. And of course some people decided not to open ", two businessmen from the area tell us.

We ask them if they see the situation improving week by week: "No, after all, the bookings for the next period are very low", they note, closing in a sentence the deep imprint left on the tourism economy by the outbreak of the pandemic, bringing with it an unprecedented wave of cancellations.

The image described to us by the people from Georgioupolis is also reflected on the beach, which is more reminiscent of a spring scene: Few people, several umbrella seats empty, sluggish traffic.

In this situation we see a few exceptions. "Thank God, something is moving," says a waiter running to deliver the order. In the shop where he works several tables are full. However, "a cuckoo does not bring Spring". Next to the closed shops, most of them are empty. And this is the dominant reality for this year's tourist season.

From: http://www.haniotika-nea.gr/kalokairi-c ... is-kritis/
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 28 Jul 2020, 12:07

Masks to be compulsory at more indoor public spaces in Greece - 28 July, 2020

mask_covid19.jpg


Greece will make mask-wearing compulsory at more indoor public spaces to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus after a small flare-up of Covid-19 infections in the second half of this month, its Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Tuesday.

Health authorities made mask-wearing mandatory for consumers at supermarkets 10 days ago. Masks must also be worn on public transport.

The new measures come into effect from Wednesday and will require masks to be worn by everyone inside retail shops, public service offices, banks, food stores, bakeries and elevators. Churches are excluded for the time being.

“The rise in infections in Athens and Thessaloniki proves the virus is still here. The requirement is for the collective good. The situation must not cause panic but neither complacency,” Hardalias said.

Greece’s health minister said last week the country was not facing a second wave of infections but needs to remain vigilant.

Greece has managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections to 4,227 confirmed cases and 202 deaths up to Monday after imposing an early lockdown.

“We must not let any room for things to go wrong,” Hardalias said.

From: https://www.ekathimerini.com/255189/art ... -in-greece
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deadeggs
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by deadeggs » 29 Jul 2020, 07:03

Any information Erno on the net results, to date, of the regulations etc set by the Greek government.
Are the tourists coming? Will the travel sector in Sfakia/Lutro finish the season with a positive result?
My thoughts are for the families and seasonal workers whose life depends on the incoming tourists.
Any information would be appreciated.

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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 29 Jul 2020, 09:10

To get an idea, follow this page: https://news.gtp.gr/monitoring-covid-19 ... -industry/

The topics there are to be found clicking the menue:

RESTART | IMPACT | MEASURES | SUPPORT | GUIDANCE | SOLIDARITY | THE DAY AFTER | LOCAL ACTIONS |

In Sfakia, tourism is low, about 20% of last year's. They are in survival mode. Whether they will survive economically remains to be seen. The crisis is far from over, and what will the next season be?

It also has a huge impact on my Sfakia websites, and this forum. If it goes on like this, it will be the end.
All the best,

Erno
webmaster Sfakia-Crete.com

deadeggs
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by deadeggs » 30 Jul 2020, 12:53

Thanks Erno for the information. Would liked to have read more happier news. Maybe August and September will help to at least balance the books, even if it's only to break even and not make a loss.
Please keep us informed about your website as it is a lifeline to many of us for the long periods that we have to spend away from Sfakia.
Keep smiling, have courage and I've got my fingers crossed for a good August and September for the families, business people and workers in Sfakia and other villages in the south of Crete.

Jean
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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Jean » 31 Jul 2020, 10:39

Yes, this website is a lifeline and helps keep us connected to the place we love. If there is a danger of the website closing because it is unviable financially for you, Erno, please put out a call for help from your loyal base. We need to keep this website ticking over until things get back to a more normal state of affairs.

As for our friends in Sfakia, we hear that September and October are looking somewhat better for tourism, so we have to hope that the businesses can make enough during that time to get them through the rest of the season and the winter. Let's hope next spring will bring a change of circumstances everywhere.

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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by deadeggs » 31 Jul 2020, 11:51

If push comes to shove with the website, put out an SOS an maybe a solution could be found amongst your loyal supporters.

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Re: The upcoming Greek summer will be something like this - Part 2

by Erno » 31 Jul 2020, 12:03

I will post a warning when the situation really is getting critical. It will all depend on the tourist flow in the coming 3 months, and if the Sfakians are willing and able to pay for the services they have asked for.

On paper September is starting to look good.

Let us all hope that the pandemic will not expand much again, so that new travel restrictions will be imposed.
All the best,

Erno
webmaster Sfakia-Crete.com

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