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Covid-19: Major Drop in Passenger Traffic for Greek Ferries

Passenger traffic on Greece’s ferries significantly decreased by 76.25 percent between March 16-22, following the preventative measures imposed by the government, urging citizens to stay indoors, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, as of March 21, Greek authorities tightened restrictions specifically for ferry travel, allowing movement only for permanent island residents and for those wishing to return to Athens.

According to data released by the Greek Shipowners Association for Passenger Ships (SEEN), which represents ferry operators, a total of 29,050 passengers traveled by ferry during March 16-22, against 122,300 during the same period last year.

The data showed that 3,600 passengers traveled from Piraeus to the Dodecanese islands during March 16-22, against 13,000 during the same period in 2019, which shows a 72.31 percent decrease.

During the same 7-day period, 3,800 travelers departed from Piraeus for the North Aegean islands against 13,800 last year – a drop of 72.46 percent.

Between March 16-22, 6,400 passengers traveled from Piraeus to Crete  (-75,85 percent), 5,000 passengers from Piraeus to the Cyclades (-82.46 percent), 5,000 from Rafina to the Cyclades (-78.36 percent), 5,600 from Zakynthos to Kefallonia (-74.07 percent), 750 to destinations in the Saronic Gulf (-62.50 percent) and 1,000 to the Sporades islands (-71.43 percent).

ferry docked

Photo © GTP

In a recent letter to Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis, SEEN expressed its concern, estimating that traffic will gradually be limited only to transport for health reasons and extraordinary events. Furthermore, the association expects the COVID-19 measures to severely affect sea travel during the Easter holidays in April, as well as during the summer season since prebookings are almost “non-existent”.

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