Coronavirus in Greece

Greece has been very fortunate in dealing with the Covid-19 global pandemic.  The number of cases and fatalities have been low compared to other Mediterranean countries like Italy and Spain.  The Greek Government acted very quickly in 'locking-down' the country and the people reacted positively to the situation which helped to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.

All national and local festivals were cancelled from Sunday 1st March 2020, with schools, universities, theatres, cinemas, playgrounds, gyms and nightclubs closed by 12th March.  Restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars in addition to all archaeological sites and museums closed from Friday 13th March.  A complete 'lock-down' came into effect from Monday 23rd March.  Only supermarkets, petrol stations, health centres and pharmacies remained open for the next number of weeks.  People needed to obtain Government permission/permits to go out of their homes during this period.

On Monday 20th April (Greek Orthodox Easter Monday) the residents of Ermioni heard of an outbreak of the virus at the Galaxy Hotel (pictured right) located near Kranidi and Porto Heli.  148 African migrant asylum seekers and 2 hotel employees were infected, following a pregnant female member of staff who was tested positive following a visit to the Nafplio Hospital.  All 497 migrants and hotel employees were tested the very same day, with additional tests of Kranidi health centre workers.  An evening quarantine/curfew was imposed the next day throughout the whole Ermionida area, no-one was to leave their home/residence between 8:00pm and 8:00am for the next 2 weeks.

Following further Covid-19 testing, another 3 migrants tested positive at the Galaxy Hotel on 26th May, with an additional 2 weeks lockdown of the hotel complex.

The 'Stay Safe' phase was eased throughout the whole country from Monday 4th May, allowing small retail stores, hairdressers and bookshops to re-open again, in addition to people being allowed personal excersise in open areas and beaches. The Ermionida area quarantine period also ended the next morning.  Further easing of restrictions were planned for mid-May, including re-opening of large retail and archaeological sites.  Restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars are due to re-open 25th May, with social distancing.  Greece expects to be ready for a limited summer tourist season that should begin 1st July 2020, for selected countries visitors only.