Yacht charter in Greece may go ahead from July 1, as the country prepares to implement a 3-point plan to reopen as an international travel destination after a ‘successful’ response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Greece is the first country in Europe to implement a plan for restarting its tourism industry with a specific focus on yachts and marinas.
Speaking to CNN, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that they were looking ahead to the future of travel and vacations and the country’s tourism season could ‘conditionally kick off’ in early July.
"Ideally, we want more high-end tourists which can actually help the country respect the Social Distancing," he stated.
Phase 1 of the 3-step plan will focus on introducing new and specialised safety measures for a number of different places that attract international visitors, including luxury yachts and marinas.
Details are expected to be finalised by May 8.
The plan also concerns hotels, airplanes and other areas that see high numbers of tourists.
We have reached a point where we've almost completely suppressed the epidemic, at least in the first stage.
It is currently being agreed upon by the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry.
The Greek government is one of the first in the world to issue specific guidelines concerning marinas, superyachts and Coronavirus.
It is also one of the first countries in Europe to introduce plans to kick-start its travel and tourism sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling a promising future for superyacht vacations in Greece for summer 2020.
Greece's borders have been closed to non-European Union citizens since March. Air travel to a number of countries that have been badly affected by the Coronavirus (such as Italy) has been temporarily suspended. Greece has issued a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for anyone arriving from another country.
The ports in Greece closed their doors to yachts and other passenger vessels in March. This restriction was meant to come under review in mid-April, however, it’s unclear if this went ahead.
The 3-step plan aims to implement the following timeline for re-opening Greece to tourists:
May 4: Non-essential businesses begin opening their doors.
May 8: Plans for new safety measures for yachts, marinas, hotels and airplanes expected to be finalised.
June 1: Some hotels and restaurants are set to reopen, as well as domestic flights.
Mid-June: Tourists are being invited back to the country from mid-June onwards, providing the infection rate in Greece continues to slow. International flights will resume around this time, or in late June.
July: It is hoped the tourism industry will be back up and running by July.
At the time of publication, the Greek government has not issued any concrete information about how it will allow travellers into the country.
The Prime Minister made the following statement to CNN: "The country would accept visitors under very specific protocols, possibly with pre-travel testing agreed at the EU level and provided that the global epidemic is on a downward path.”
Greece has received international acclaim for its success in containing transmission rates for SARS-COV-2.
French think tank The Bridge named it the ‘best-performing country’ in Europe for COVID-19 containment, which it attributes to ‘early and strict containment measures’.
A report by The Bridge states that “Greece [has] successfully managed to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of the virus.”
The report also notes that Greece implemented safety measures before the first 100 cases were detected- a stark contrast to its European neighbours, which acted much later to introduce similar measures.
Greece [has] successfully managed to flatten the curve and slow down the spread of the virus.
Public events and large gatherings were being cancelled in Greece as early as February, with the closure of schools and businesses taking place shortly afterwards.
Greece has now begun to relax its lockdown measures, and it’s hoped that the travel and tourism sector will be back up and running by July, as long as the number of new cases remains low.
"We have reached a point where we've almost completely suppressed the epidemic, at least in the first stage, and we'll begin to relax.” Stated the Prime Minister.
“We feel we've dodged the first bullet very clearly," Mitsotakis told CNN. "I think we did it the right way [...] if you look at the numbers, you can't argue with what we have achieved.”
In the pre-vaccination Coronavirus era, travel and vacations around the world will look different as visitors adjust to socially disruptive measures.
The same applies for Greece, according to Prime Minister Mr. Mitsotakis.
“The tourism experience this summer may be slightly different from what you’ve had in previous years, with more Social Distancing, maybe no bars open." The Prime Minister told CNN.
This means that vacations that focus on nightlife and partying will be off-limits for a while. Party holidays in destinations such as Zante and Corfu are not expected to bounce back right away, hence the need for 'high-end' travelers who won't visit Greece for the clubbing scene.
High-end travelers will also reduce overcrowding in hotels and resorts, instead choosing to book villas and boutique hotels (at the lower end) or private yachts (at the higher end).
Mr. Mitsotakis was keen to highlight that "you can still get a fantastic experience in Greece." This is particularly true if you're considering a Social Distancing Yacht Charter.
If you’re considering a luxury vacation in the midst of COVID-19, a yacht charter is one of the safest options available.
Superyachts are hygienic, controlled and self-contained environments with a very small, select number of crew on board. Superyacht crew live and work on board their yachts, limiting potential exposure to the virus and making contact tracing much simpler when compared to the high number of staff working in hotels or cruises.
A vacation at sea is the ultimate escape from the crowds. Your itinerary can be tailored to avoid crowded areas on land, sticking to quiet beaches and secluded bays instead.
A private yacht charter is one of the most exclusive types of vacation in the world, and it allows you to experience the highest standards of luxury service and state-of-the-art facilities, all while exploring new destinations and spending quality time with your loved ones.
A vacation at sea is the ultimate escape from the crowds, and you can tailor your itinerary to avoid crowded areas on shore and stick to quiet beaches, secluded bays, and secret islands.
That's exactly what makes Greece so perfect for Social Distancing- it has no shortage of peaceful spots and secluded sites where you can isolate yourself from the world.
In fact, Greece has more coastline than any other country in Europe and is home to around 6,000 islands (277 of which are inhabited).
Many of the country's most popular destinations and attractions can only be accessed by boat, so a yacht charter is the perfect way to explore everything that this Mediterranean gem has to offer.
Yacht charter itineraries in Greece typically include plenty of natural wonders and archeological sites as well, so even if restaurants and bars aren't yet up and running, you can still enjoy a varied and diverse vacation.
Plus if you've chartered a yacht before, you'll know that you'll experience world-class dining on board your yacht, with a private chef to create bespoke meals for you every day.
If you're looking to disembark and embark in Greece, you will need a yacht with a Greek charter license. For more information, view all Greece yachts for charter and scroll down to the Greek Charter License section.
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