FERRY links between Greek holiday islands returned today (May 25) as flights between the islands are set to resume in July in a bid to rescue the tourist season.
Tourism is the biggest industry for many parts of Greece, and generally for the islands, as the season only runs between April and the end of October, making it an economic imperative to try to salvage something in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s lockdown restrictions were quick and severe, making the infection and death rates some of the lowest in Europe, with the government emphasising in March that preserving tourism later in the year was vital.
As of today, popular islands like Corfu and Crete now have passenger ferry links, and can operate at half-capacity.
All ferries will have to follow strict health safety protocols for the protection of all passengers, including the taking of their temperature before boarding and filling-in a special questionnaire.
Anybody with coronavirus symptoms will be stopped from travelling, along with anyone who has been in contact with an infected person in the previous two weeks.
Social distancing will be in place and a 1.5 metres distance rule will have to be observed by all passengers across ferries.
At the moment, any international arrivals in Greece have to self-isolate for 14 days, but that rule changes from June 15.
Direct island flights can restart from July 1, but it is unclear as to how many international services will be provided, though Ryanair did state earlier this month that it planned to reintroduce 40 per cent of its regular schedule from the same date.
Coronavirus tests for foreign arrivals are expected to continue.