Visiting hours to archaeological sites, monuments, and museums around Greece will be modified due to extreme weather conditions that are expected to affect the country, the Greek Culture Ministry has announced.
More specifically, due to the high temperatures expected from Thursday, June 20, until Sunday, July 23, archaeological sites around Greece will close between 12:00 and 17:30. If weather conditions change, the opening hours are expected to be updated accordingly.
The ministry has contacted all Ephorates of Antiquities under its jurisdiction to ensure that all employees are kept informed and that appropriate measures are taken, taking into account the nature of the employees’ duties and the conditions of their place of work.
Due to the forthcoming heatwave, the Ephorates should also:
- Examine the operational status of existing active fire protection systems at all archaeological sites and ensure that they have sufficient quantity of water.
- Ensure that uninterrupted 24-hour communication is established with local fire brigade services.
- Check fire prediction maps on a daily basis to assess fire risks in the areas where monuments and archaeological sites are located.
- Weed clearing and grass cutting, if necessary, within fenced archaeological sites.
- Reexamine the evacuation plans that are in force for visitors.
- Postpone scheduled cultural events and further modify opening hours, if necessary.
- Water areas in archaeological sites and especially those near monuments and wooden structures.
- Inform visitors upon entrance about shaded areas, the use of air-conditioned rooms, and monitor their whereabouts.
- Follow measures announced by the Labor Ministry to protect the health and wellness of staff.
It should be noted that the Greek Association of Antiquities’ Security Staff has announced daily 4-hour work stoppages until Sunday, July 23, from 16:00 to 20:00 at archaeological sites around Greece.
The association states that staff and visitors need to be protected under extreme weather conditions and that in the past few days they had to assist more than 20 visitors who fainted while visiting or waiting to visit the Acropolis in Athens, and deal with lack of air-conditioning facilities at museums such as the White Tower in Thessaloniki.
For that reason, a 2-hour work stoppage was also announced from 13:30 to 15:30 at museums that operate from 08:30 to 15:30.
People who want to visit archaeological sites and museums around Greece are advised to contact them first to check their opening hours, which may be affected by the security staff work stoppage, the measures announced by the culture ministry, or worsening weather conditions.