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tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
edited March 2020 in General
With all the travel restrictions will it affect Thassos?.


  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    Hey Tony :)

    As of today, there are no travel restrictions for Greece and we've had 0 cases of the coronavirus in Thassos and Kavala.

    Even though the situation in Greece has not escalated like in other countries, the Greeks are still taking the virus very seriously and have implemented big measures to try to get in front of it before it has the chance to escalate.

    Our goal is to keep Greece a safe holiday destination. We're making a collective effort to prevent the spread of the virus well before the summer.

    Starting yesterday, schools have been closed while some church ceremonies and events have been suspended. Large gatherings and public events have also been temporarily banned, among other measures.

    Since we're still 2-3 months away from the start of the summer season, we locals are feeling optimistic that the situation will normalize by then. We hope there won't be any travel restrictions but if anything changes I will let you know right here.
  • tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
    Glad to hear mate,looking forward to Thassos.
  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    Augie, how’s it looking over there? I’m guessing since the tourist season hasn’t started you are in a good position with keeping it at bay.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    edited March 2020
    Hey Leanne :)

    You make a really good point.

    Greece is lucky the outbreak happened when it did. If it happened during the summer we'd find the situation a lot more challenging due to the high number of people coming to Greece from around the world.

    Fortunately, the tourism season is still months away and the number of people traveling to Greece is a lot fewer, making the situation much more manageable.

    Spring is now upon us and the weather is starting to warm up. We believe this will help reduce the survivability of the virus.

    Yesterday, I saw a scientific analysis on TV suggesting that the virus is significantly less of a threat in places with a warm climate compared with places with a cool climate.

    Viruses generally can't survive at 25 °C or higher, which is the average temperature in Greece during the month of June. If this holds true for COVID-19 then we are confident Greece will fare really well and be a safe holiday destination this summer.

    In the meantime, more and more measures will be taken in Greece to stop the spread before the summer.

    For example, starting today, all restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping centers have been ordered to close down for 2 weeks. Museums and archaeological sites will be closed until the end of March.

    We have 0 known cases in Thassos and Kavala to date.
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    I hope you are right Augie but I think it is more about movement of a lot of people in large areas. I was in Oxford two weeks ago taking photos and there were no reported cases. However, today there are 22 and rising and there are people there from all over the world. In Thailand it is 34 degs today and cases are rising there. Some countries are much behind due to it arriving late from less people travelling.
    Hope you stay free from it
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    edited March 2020
    Although it has not been implemented yet our Health Minister has suggested that all people aged 70 + may be told to go into self isolation for four months and that would take us into August if it starts at the end of this month
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    Hi Delboy :)

    You make a good point about Thailand, which may be indicative that covid-19 doesn't respond to high temperatures in the same way as other viruses. If that proves to be the case, then hopefully the actions taken here at haste will make the difference.

    One of the latest measures adopted (today) in Greece is limiting the number of people allowed inside supermarkets at the same time. To ensure that shoppers always have a minimum of 2 meters of empty space around them, only 1 customer will be allowed inside for every 10 square meters of floor space. So if the supermarket has 100 square meters of floor space, only 10 customers will be allowed in at any time.

    Today they also announced that the border with Albania and North Macedonia will be temporarily closed while flights to and from Spain have been temporarily banned. Cruise ships are also now banned in Greece.

    I'm also following the developments in the UK and I hope the measures being taken there will be effective. The entire world is watching and learning from each other.

    People over 70 are the most vulnerable and we definitely need to take very special care of them. I don't know if the 4-month isolation is a good move because loneliness is already a big problem for the elderly and this would exacerbate it. In the age of smartphones, tablets, and video calls, I hope they will be able to cope easier if it should happen.

    If it does happen, then I'm happy that it will still be summer after the 4-month period and they will still have the opportunity to enjoy their summer holiday. For the 70+'s who have booked already, I am absolutely certain that any and every accommodation owner will understand the situation and provide free and flexible reservation changes. So if they booked for June or July they should have no problems changing their reservations for August or September.
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    Hi Augie,

    I will keep you updated on what is going on here in the UK. Our government have admitted it is not possible to control it and if allowed to continue it would cause a high peak of casualties where our National Health service could not cope with the numbers. So they are trying to spread it out more towards summer and reduce the high peak where the NHS can more cope.
    It is something other countries are not doing and hope we are right. The experts say we need 60% of the people (I guess the younger ones) to catch it to kill off the virus by it having less new contacts to spread it to. However, that puts us older people having to keep out of the way for a longer period to avoid catching it.
    We might get 2 months remission for good behaviour but this won't be pleasant for us if it happens.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    Hi everybody :)

    New measures in Greece have been announced in order to help stop the spread of the covid-19 (coronavirus). These measures are going to be implemented this week and we expect them to be lifted well before the summer.

    Holiday resorts are closing until May
    All holiday resorts have been ordered to remain closed until 30 April. This measure is to minimize traffic during the Easter holidays which is a very popular time for tourism in Greece. City hotels, however, will remain open for business.

    There's a 14-day quarantine period for everyone coming to Greece from abroad
    Anyone travelling to Greece from outside the country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    Shops are closing starting Wednesday
    All shops have been ordered to remain closed starting this Wednesday. This is in addition to the restaurants, bars, and various other types of businesses that are shut since last Saturday. This measure is to encourage people to stay at home. Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks will all remain open.

    As you can see, a lot is being done already and more measures are on the way. For those who are planning to visit in March or April, consider changing your dates to later in the year. If you chose this time of year to avoid the summer heat and big crowds, then consider coming in late September.
  • FranzFranz Member (+) Posts: 22
    This OK. Best wishes to you Augie and to all friends of Thassos <3
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    edited March 2020
    Hi Augie today 16/3

    Our Prime Minister said: "This avoiding all social contact is especially important for the over 70, pregnant women and those with health conditions.
    "Those with the most serious conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.
    "It is now clear that the peak of the epidemic is coming faster in some parts of the country than others.
    "People over 70 might feel there is something excessive about these measures.
    "I believe they are overwhelmingly worth it to slow the spread of the disease reduce the peak save life minimise suffering and give our NHS the chance to cope."
    "People over 70 might feel there is something excessive about these measures.
    Mr Johnson added: ''This advice about avoiding all social contact is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.''
    ''We want to ensure that this period of shielding, this period of maximum protection, coincides with the peak of the disease and it is now clear that the peak of the epidemic is coming faster in some parts of the country than in others. '
    "The peak of epidemic coming faster in others parts of the country, and it now looks like London a few weeks ahead."

    Mr Johnson said by the weekend, groups particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 will be asked to stay at home for 12 weeks.

    FRANCE is really getting a big hit now and not long before a Paris quarantine
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    edited March 2020
    Hi Delboy :)

    It seems that the UK is trying a different (albeit riskier) strategy in order to bring the least possible disruption to the UK economy.

    By keeping schools open, which really surprises me, parents aren't needing to take off work or worry about what to do with their kids. Many of the children would be sent to their grandparents which I'm guessing the government is trying to avoid in order to reduce spread to them.

    The UK seems to be placing its bets on quarantining the older and more vulnerable population and letting the virus run its course through the rest of the population. Is this a fair assessment?

    Either way, stay safe my friend! I really hope your government's strategy proves to be successful!
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    edited March 2020
    Hi Augie,
    We have to avoid other people, not to go out to pubs, restaurants and theatres. People now need to work at home where possible. I don't think schools are far away from closing. The virus is now starting to go up the graph model and basically we do not have enough ventilators for all the casualties expected in the coming weeks. More are currently being built and it is realised the oxygen is not enough for a number of patients. The medical expert now hopes we can keep the death rate below 20,000 which is still horrendous but sounds like their best target achievement. We need to isolate where possible.
    Everything is being done in a voluntary British fashion with people acting to do their best to help. A lot of financial help in loans has been put in place to help people and businesses to survive.
    It appears to be going over many months to come out of all this. Testing is now not possible to see how many have actually got it and some people have only mild version of it and just don't know they have it

  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    Hi Augie,
    Yes that’s a fair assessment (i think Del will agree)
    I’m currently trying to find a balance between hysteria and being careful since i have two asthmatic older children and i visit homes for my job 🙈🙈
    Hope everyone on my favourite island is keeping safe xx
  • broderickbroderick Member (+) Posts: 33
    Hi Augie, I'm now 66 living on pension and our trip booked to Thassos for the 14th time later this year could be the last.

    We have had great holidays at Golden Beach and Skala Potamia dating back to 1997 including two fantastic weeks in June last year.

    TUI have been paid in full for our trip for June 2020 and I'm preying this terrible time blows over quickly and we get there once again.

    However now getting very doubtful as English airports are predicting they will be closing in May as they will be out of money. I'm also concerned that TUI will not be able to refund our cash or give us a credit receipt to cover our return to the island.

    However more importantly for the sake of the lively-hoods of the beautiful people of Thassos I hope the custom from the the overland visitors from Roumania and Bulgaria keeps Thassos going and does not suffer financially.

    Fingers crossed all will be good and we can enjoy our beers at the Golden Sands, food at Fedras and walks down to Skala Potamia again this year. Steve
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    edited March 2020
    Hi Leanne :)

    I completely understand your concerns. One of my sisters lives in Florida and she has 2 little boys with respiratory issues, which is making her nervous as the coronavirus is beginning to spread there as well.

    I'd like to highlight some positive insights coming from countries dealing with the virus for a while already, such as China and Italy. We're observing that covid-19 has been much less dangerous to the younger population. Their symptoms are far fewer and less intense compared with the older population. Still, we should all be taking every precaution to protect one another, without falling into a sense of hysteria, paranoia, or panic.

    Please take care of yourself, Leanne. Especially since you visit people's homes. Do follow the health experts' recommendations as much as you deem necessary for your own personal circumstances.

    Here at Go-Thassos, we closed our office to foot traffic as of Monday, 16/3. We've effectively self-quarantined the team in order to keep us and the general public safe. We're practicing top-notch personal hygiene practices which 1 month ago we'd have considered excessive, but we're doing our part.

    Everybody has a part to play and, if we each do it well, then this virus will be contained and put behind us sooner rather than later.

    We still haven't heard of any cases on Thassos or in Kavala but we, the residents, are still acting as if we have the virus ourselves and we're behaving accordingly. I think if everybody adopts this mentality and sticks with it for the next few weeks, we could easily avoid those worst-case scenarios we're hearing about.

    The "Stay Home" movement in Greece is really making a big difference here. Not only are schools, church services, and non-essential businesses shutting down and staying shut for the next couple of weeks, but people are choosing to stay home, which is a positive development.

    We haven't needed a mandatory lockdown like in other countries, but it may still be on the table if we see the number of cases in Greece rise significantly. So far, we've been very fortunate with a slow and manageable rise in new cases.

    I believe it also helps that our leadership in the Greek government is practicing what they are preaching. They are no longer gathering or meeting in person. They are holding all of their meetings online via video conferences.

    The Greek prime minister is also hosting televised video conferences with his opposition leaders to discuss ideas and ways of managing the outbreak together. This situation is bringing the political parties together under a common goal which is refreshing to see and quite reassuring.

    The Greek government just announced today that they will provide salaried workers, those who are put out of work because of the forced closures, a monthly cash allowance to help them get by. Their social security contributions will also be covered by the state until they are back at work.

    Step-by-step, measures are being taken in Greece and I'd like everyone to know the Greeks are handling this calmly and responsibly. We have so much to lose economically to covid-19 because we depend on tourism, probably more than most countries on average. However, people's good health always comes first in Greece.

    Hi Broderick :)

    Thank you so much for your kind words of support! I'd like to reciprocate and offer you a few words of support, too!

    Please don't be discouraged by the current situation with your booking this June. As sad as it would be for your trip to not take place due to the situation, know that everything will get better and it's a matter of time.

    As we learn more about covid-19 and how to deal with it more effectively, many of today's uncertainties will diminish over the coming weeks.

    I believe you should be entitled to re-schedule your trip for later in the year if the UK measures (or the general situation) prevent you from coming this June. I'd be very surprised if they don't take the current events under consideration and allow you to change your dates if the situation makes it necessary. Most travel companies are offering this flexibility, regardless of the booking terms, and governments are stepping in to help these companies because they are indeed taking a big financial hit because of all of this.

    There are a lot of bad scenarios floating around and it's easy to become frightened and feel a sense of panic or depression setting in. When this happens, just close your eyes and try to remember how it felt during your previous 13 visits... just laying there, between the warm sun and the soft sand of Golden Beach, sipping an ice-cold Mythos and having a laugh with Giannis and Sofia (the owners of Golden Sands), just to name a few of your Thassian friends.

    Rest assured Thassos will be here waiting for you this Summer or Autumn. By then, we should be in much better shape if everyone plays their part responsibly, as we are doing.

    In the meantime, take care of yourself and stay well. That should be everybody's priority and that's what matters most right now.

    Here in Greece, we say "Στην υγεία μας" (which means "To our health!") when clinking a Mythos or glass of ouzo, and for good reason. We say that because we believe people's health must always come first. You see, when we have a drink together even during the best of times, this is how we traditionally remind each other that our good health is essential. Without good health, we wouldn't be able to enjoy these happy moments together.

    So stay healthy and keep your loved ones safe for now... and soon enough you'll find yourself returning for your 14th trip to Thassos! Your Thassian friends will be waiting for you with open arms! :smiley:

    I'll end this post with a link to our webcam in Golden Beach. I promise we will do our very best to keep this webcam running for you, and for everybody else that is counting down the days to visit Thassos!
  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    Augie your government could teach our lot a thing or two!
    Our schools are closing from Friday and I’m guessing a kind of lockdown will soon follow.

    Two weeks ago I was being laughed at for my extra hand washing and wiping down in the car/office /home .. they’re not laughing now!!!

    I didn’t really you had offices.. I would like to pop by and say hello 😀 (assuming by September we’re allowed) lol

    Keep safe!!
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    sadly I think Greece is behind us and in the earlier stages. I think the UK is trying to avoid what is happening in Italy today with not enough beds and equipment to save peoples lives and their latest toll is devastating. Whether our model is good enough to keep the high level down no one can be sure but what a world disaster this is

    keep well all
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    Leanne, I'll be thrilled to see you! Yes, pop by our office when you're here this September! :)

    Delboy, you might be right. Greece could be in the earlier stages compared to the UK.

    Greece is doubling down its efforts to contain the coronavirus by preventing new covid-19 cases from entering the country. Today the Greek government announced these new measures:

    All Inbound and Outbound passenger flights will be suspended from Sunday evening, March 22
    Greece is temporarily closing its air borders due to the sharp rise in new coronavirus cases around the world. Cargo will continue to fly in and out of the country uninterrupted.

    Hotels in Greece will temporarily close from midnight Monday, March 23 until 30 April
    All hotels in Greece that are open year-round will close until the end of April. In the meantime, Athens and Thessaloniki each will keep 3 hotels open while every regional capital city in Greece will keep 1 hotel open.

  • tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
    Schools closed from today, football closedown extended to April 30th, looks like it will be June at the earliest for british travel, a shame but will rebook for later in the year, will ask your advice at a later date , cheers.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    edited March 2020
    Sounds good, Tony. :) Stay safe until then!

    Today the government announced this new measure in Greece:

    Travel to the Aegean islands will be banned for non-residents starting 6am Saturday, 21 March
    Only people who live on the islands will be allowed to board the ferries. This is a temporary measure that includes Thassos.
  • tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
    Feel sorry for the people relying on the tourist industry, hope there is something in place to help the hardship coming, same happening here on the coast every tourist attraction closed staff being told to stay at home unpaid caravan parks not opening at Easter again staff not working, will take a few years to recover from this.
  • tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
    Latest uk news: All pubs/restaurants must close tonight, nightclubs,theatres,cinemas,gymns and leisure centres must close asap, libraries to close 5 pm monday, Boris 20 mins ago.
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    also note the original sombrero hat described to show the graph has now become a series of wavy lines of lock (close) down release over the whole year. The government know that people will only bear so long in close down. So they will do this method of containment to keep it under the NHS coping levels. Retired staff and equipment are being brought in to obvious boost that level.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 812
    edited March 2020
    Hi everybody :)

    Greece is under lockdown from today, 23 March until April 6.

    Residents are required to stay at home. They may leave their homes only if they have a good reason, like:
    • Traveling to work
    • Getting groceries, medicine, or gas
    • Doctor's appointment or visit to a medical establishment
    • Helping others who need assistance (family, neighbors, seniors, disabled people, etc.)
    • Walking your pet outside
    There's a 2-person limit when in public or in a vehicle. People may not travel with more than 1 other person at a time.

    Anyone who leaves their home is required to carry identification on their person along with a written declaration (printable PDF available online), stating where they are going and where they have left from.

    Alternatively, people can send an SMS message to a designated number and inform the authorities of their intended movement. They then receive a reply SMS giving them authorization, which you would then need to show to an officer if you are stopped during transit.

    As you can see, the Greek government continues taking covid-19 very seriously and is fulfilling its promise to prioritize the protection of public health in Greece. So far, the measures seem to be helping! New cases of the coronavirus are increasing but at a stable rate, allowing authorities and the health system to manage it better.

    Keep staying safe, everybody! Remember that we're all in this together and that you aren't alone. :)
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