The operation of year-round hotels in Greece will resume on June 1, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Tuesday.
The announcement was one of the many made by the prime minister during his televised address to the public in which he referred to the gradual relaxation of restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Greece.
“Today, we can safely say that the measures we took have paid off… For days now, new cases have been kept to a minimum,” PM Mitsotakis said, underlining the importance of the steady decline of patients infected with the coronavirus.
According to the latest data, the Covid-19 virus has infected 2,566 people in the country and the death toll has reached 138. Greece is considered to have been handling the spread of the pandemic better than many other European countries.
During his address, the PM announced that from Monday, May 4, restrictions on the non-essential movement of citizens will be lifted. Citizens will no longer be required to have documentation with them or send an sms to the 5-digit 13033 when they leave the house.
However, movement will only be allowed within the prefecture where one resides. Travel outside ones prefectures is expected to be lifted in two weeks from May 4. However, it was not made clear what distances citizens will be allowed to cover. It is noted that no mention was made regarding travel to the islands.
Return to normalcy in 7 stages – Year-round hotels open in stage 5
Greece’s return to normalcy will take place in seven stages starting from May 4 with the opening of some shops and services, such as bookstores, electronic stores and hair salons. More shops and services will open on May 11, continue to open on May 18 and then again on June 1. The exact dates for the three remaining stages will be announced after May 18.
“On June 1, the activity in the field of food services will restart, always under conditions… On the same day, the hotels operating 12 months a year will open,” the PM said.
Initially only outdoor restaurants and cafes will operate as of June 1. Indoor establishments are expected to open as of mid-June.
The restriction allowing only outdoor establishments to operate also applies to the year-round hotels that have restaurants and cafes within their premises.
Seasonal hotels and resorts in Greece will open in the seventh stage, most likely towards the end of June.
The Greek PM also announced that swimming in the sea will be allowed as well as individual sports activities in open spaces. Organized beaches, however, will remain closed.
Moreover, as of May 18 access will be allowed in parks and to archaeological sites (strictly outside areas).
The PM, however, underlined that despite the relaxation of the measures, Greece is not returning to its pre-coronavirus reality.
“This is not an epilogue to the adventure, but a sequel. I repeat that the exit from quarantine will be done step by step. No one can rule out a possible resurgence of the threat,” PM Mitsotakis stressed.
In regards to the tourism sector, Greece’s deputy minister to the PM, Akis Skertsos said that the government is spearheading a “comprehensive plan on tourism” to be announced later in May, pending coordination and discussions with other countries.