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Covid-19: Passenger Capacity Limit to Remain for Greek Ferries

Despite high demand for ferry travel, Greek coastal shipping vessels will continue traveling with less passengers and not add more capacity to its routes, according to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

According to the minister, the country’s health experts rejected requests for ferries to increase passenger capacity due to demand and instead have decided to keep coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in place. The current health protocols for ferry travel in Greece are scheduled to be reviewed and possibly revised after August 4.

Until further notice, ferries without cabin space will continue to travel with 60 percent capacity while those with cabins at a 65 percent capacity.

“Coastal shipping has reached its limits, but the committee is strict,” Minister Theoharis told Ant1 TV on Thursday.

According to Greece’s health protocol for travel by ferry, passengers are obliged to practice social distancing when on board and must wear a face mask in indoor areas. Seating in airplane-type seats is allowed but passengers must maintain empty seating on either side, in front and behind the chosen seat.

Port authority officials carry out regular inspections on board ferries traveling to the islands throughout the journey as well as at ports of departure and arrival.

2020 will not be an easy tourism year

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis (archive photo).

Referring to this year’s tourism season, Minister Theoharis clarified that it will not be an easy year and underlined that the problem is global.

When asked about imported Covid-19 cases, the minister said that “the country is completely shielded“, adding that 10-12 percent of those entering Greece are checked through sample testing.

Greece on Wednesday recorded 65 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 4,401. Out of the new cases, 17 were confirmed at the country’s entry points. Greece’s Covid-19 death toll is at 203.

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