Traveling to Greece during the Pandemic: What to Expect

The summer is here and we all want to find a majestic place to relax and have the long awaited holidays. Let’s admit it 2020 has been tough and the first 7 months felt like 7 years! Traveling to Greece even during the pandemic; might be the best decision you ever made!

Greece has always been a favorite destination among tourists now even more seeing how the country is trying to get a handle of the pandemic. The government has allowed the scientists to take control and guide us through these difficult times.

We were under lock down for almost 2 months and since May gradually things are opening with new restrictions and regulations.

In this post I will go over what to expect as a visitor while in Greece under the pandemic!

What to expect in Restaurants and Taverns.

  • All staff wears masks or face/mouth shields.
  • Tables are 2 meters away from each other.
  • Antiseptic is available on every table.
  • Customers are not obliged to wear masks.
  • Tables are constantly disinfected by the staff.

If you decide to move a table from its place be prepared to be asked to not do it. The government is fining ALL establishments that are not complying with the rules.

Personally, I believe that those shields have little to NO protection at all when it comes to blocking air born particles. Scientifically, surgical masks that fully cover your mouth and nose, block only 95% of the particles. So imagine what kind of % a mouth/noise shield has !

Therefore, the best thing to do is always keep your distance, wash your hands, and do not touch your face!

At the end of the day when you put a mask and you don’t feel uncomfortable breathing for the first few minutes, You ARE NOT protected! The face shields must be worn with surgical masks for a minimum protection.

What to expect in Supermarkets traveling in Greece during the pandemic.

  • Masks are mandatory for workers and customers!
  • Social distancing is strongly advised
  • Customers might be asked to take a visitor card when entering
  • There are lines 2 meters apart on the floor indicating where to stand when waiting at the cashier.

These visitor’s cards are there to ensure how many people are inside. Each enclosed place allows a certain amount of people to enter according to how big the place is. In some places there are other ways to track how many visitors enter at any given point but this is the overall idea.

What to expect at hotels traveling in Greece during the pandemic

  • Staff wears masks
  • Completely disinfected rooms
  • Antiseptic on every floor
  • Personal information of ALL visitors is recorded for tracking purposes.

Hotel owners are extremely polite and will inform you of all the precautions they are taking. Most of them advice of limited usage of the elevators as much as possible. If you can avoid using the lift then just do so.

If you opt for breakfast at the hotel you will receive it in you room. Due to the pandemic hotels no longer have the buffet option.

Just wear, wash and reuse. Plus, from May 25-June 30, $2 from every pack of face covers sold goes to Save the Children’s Global Coronavirus Response Fund

What to expect in museums, galleries, and archaeological sites.

  • Staff, visitors, and guides must wear masks
  • Visitors must be 2 meters away from each other.
  • Backpacks and large bags will be disinfected
  • Lines to get in if at capacity

These new regulations allow only a fraction of the usual visitors to enter a certain place. For example, the average amount of visitors to the Acropolis museum BC (before corona) was about 3,000 per day. These days the number is only 150 people.

What to expect on organized beaches

  • The staff disinfects Sunbeds/chairs/tables
  • Staff wears masks or face/mouth shields
  • Sunbeds and umbrellas are placed 2 meters apart
  • Might be asked to wait at the entrance due to capacity (for entrance fee beaches only)

In Greece beaches are mostly free for all. Many times there are sunbeds and umbrellas that might be charged extra. Some cafeterias or canteens might have their own sunbeds and umbrellas that they offer to their customers for free as long as you purchase something from them.

Overall, if the beach has no entrance fee then it is free for all so you do not have to use any of the sunbeds or umbrellas at extra cost and just use your own if you have 😊. This way you can ensure social distancing!

What to expect at malls and shops

  • Staff and customers will have to wear masks
  • Lines at the entrance if the store has reached capacity
  • Social distancing at the cashier.

These new regulations might delay your plans so please take into consideration some extra time that you might need to spend waiting in line.

General advice when exploring and traveling to Greece during the pandemic

  • Try to avoid paying in cash as much as possible!
  • Use Contactless card payment where applicable!
  • Have plenty of masks handy so you can dispose and change the dirty ones. I suggest at least 3 for a day (reusable/surgical mask or N95)
  • The fine for not wearing a mask is 150 euros!

To conclude

One very important thing to remember is Masks. You need to have them handy if you plan on being in enclosed areas with other people. I would also advise you to have hand sanitizers and antibacterial wets.

In general, there is a huge emphasis on cleanliness which is a great thing while the pandemic, I hope it sticks after things get better as well.

Some people might not be keeping their distance due to circumstances and you should just move away and keep calm.

Overall, I like the fact that when at stores you don’t have to bump into people. I feel that the shopping experience is better with less people in the store.

Traveling during the pandemic is a new reality; which we are exploring as we go shouldn’t be frightening. It can still be done using plenty of caution. Be extra vigilant of ALL your movements!

Discover the beauty of Greece while staying safe, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen!

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