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  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited March 2020
    Hi everybody :)

    The Greek Prime Minister just announced that the lockdown measures will continue past the current end-date of April 6. The new end-date is May 10. The measures will then begin to gradually be lifted if the conditions allow.

    Of course, there is no guarantee but people in Greece feel upbeat since the measures we're all taking seem to be keeping new covid-19 cases relatively low. Thank goodness.

    We're buying the Greek National Health Service time to prepare in case we do have an uptick in a couple of weeks. They've been securing more medical supplies while equipping and staffing hospitals at full throttle.

    Hopefully, these won't be needed and we'll be able to send more support to countries that need it most.

    Keep staying safe, everybody! :)

    PS. If you can think of anything that we can do to help you feel better and get through these days and weeks, please PM me.
  • hobgoblinhobgoblin Member (+) Posts: 56
    hi, haven't been in the site for a while, but now want to send my best wahes to everybody. we are booked to fly to thassos end of August, hopefully that will Happen. we are in contact with Christos who owns the loutrou Bungalows in kinira, where we have been staying numerous Times and are very much looking forward to. we'll have to wait and see. we are in germany and from next week will have a slight Lift from the lockdown. hopefully it's not too early for that.
    wishing everybody to stay healthy and safe. hopefully thassos will stay corona free and we all will be enjoying "our" island again soon.
  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    Hey Augie,
    Hope you’ve had a lovely Easter week despite the lockdown.

    Just wondered how our favourite island is doing, is it still COVID free? Our lockdown as you may know is extended until may 7 so far but I think it will be much longer than that before we anywhere near back to normal.

    Hope you and your loved ones are all well and safe xx
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited April 2020
    Hi Hobglobin and Leanne!

    What you both said brought such a big smile to my face... "Thassos is our island". Indeed it is!

    Thanks very much to you both for the warm wishes. Easter was very different for everybody this year, even for this guy in a Greek city!! :joy:

    As I walked through the olive groves this sunny Easter Sunday for exercise in Limenas, my senses were greeted by a plethora of mouth-watering smells from barbecues, plumes of smoke visible in every direction.

    Friends and families could not get together but this didn't stop people from enjoying a good cookout at their homes!

    Normally I would hear dancing and cheering coming from parties around the village, morning till night. This year, it was fairly muted but everybody celebrated in the best possible way under our circumstances... with good food, good drink, and no coronavirus!

    Yes, our little island is still coronavirus-free! We're doing our best to keep it that way for all of you who hope to join us this year. ;)

    Hobgoblin, we wish you the best of luck with the lifting of lockdown measures in Germany. We hope you will have good results and give the world a positive example to follow!

    In Greece, the measures have worked well and we'll slowly begin to lift them in May. We're now focused on developing a strategy to safely and responsibly open Greece, and our little island, for holidays by this June or July.
  • broderickbroderick Member (+) Posts: 32
    Great description. Took me back to my 50th birthday in Thassos at the old Zorbas in 2003. Local people also attended dancing. This was photo I put on Thassos Forum. Hopefully adding this will not cause any problem.

    Next day we went to panagia and walked back down steep road to Golden Beach and same group of Thassos people who had been also celbrating at Zorbas were in house having afternoon party gathering at property and as your description I recalled the mouth-watering smells of food from that party and music and voices. 16 years ago seems like 6 months. Best regards Steve
  • frenchiefrenchie Member Posts: 20
    Greece made the national news in UK last night as a prime example of a country which responded quickly to the current pandemic and undertook stringent measured which the country responded to.

    Well done Greece!

    Keep dancing, in isolation, in the streets.
  • tonybtonyb Member Posts: 33
    Sat in the back garden having a vodka and coke, sunny and warmish, BUT should have arrived in Thassos this afternoon for the first time, sad but will make it some time in the future, stay safe.
  • CristinaGCristinaG Member Posts: 1
    I have a reservation in Golden Beach starting with May 30.
    What are travel rules there? would it be possible considering that we come from Romania?
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited May 2020
    Hi Cristina :)

    According to the latest government announcements, it depends on where you reserved.

    If you reserved a holiday rental (apartment, house, etc.) then there are no restrictions.

    If you reserved at a hotel or establishment that is designated "Year-Round" then you will need to wait until June 1st because that is when they will be allowed to open.

    If you reserved at a hotel or establishment that is designated "Seasonal" then you will need to wait until the middle or end of June, or July 1st. They will decide this soon.

    The Greek government is currently in talks with Bulgaria, Romania, and other countries about opening the borders in a responsible way so people may safely travel. Greece hopes they will be open by the end of May and it's possible that only the Promachonas border crossing will open initially.

    So if the borders are opened by May 30, and if you have a reservation at a holiday rental, then you will be free to come to Thassos on May 30.

    If you made a reservation at a hotel, please contact them directly and ask if they will be open on June 1. If yes, then you will need to change your arrival date to June 1.

    Please let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know and I will try my best to find out for you.
  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    Hi Augie, that’s very interesting thanks.
    So far our problem is going to be uk restrictions, they are taking about people coming into the country having to isolate for 2 weeks. I for one and I won’t be alone couldn’t possibly take 4 weeks off work for a 2 week holiday
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    Hi Leanne :)

    Indeed it isn't feasible for most people to take 4 weeks off for a 2-week holiday. Sometimes people say that they need a vacation after their vacation but I don't think they mean this! lol

    At the moment this is a major talking point between Greece, the EU, UK, and other countries.

    The UK government has already made two exceptions for France and Ireland. People won't be subject to the 2-week self-isolation from those two countries. We hope that Greece will be added to that list since it is a low-risk country.

    Of course, this also means you could probably get around the quarantine by traveling to Ireland or France first when returning to the UK.

    The Greek government will make its next round of official announcements next Monday, May 18th. Hopefully, an agreement between Greece and the UK will be reached by then. *fingers crossed*
  • Leanne1976Leanne1976 Member Posts: 144
    yes I just read about exceptions with France. I’m hoping that we will be able to travel in September as planned after all. I can’t imagine why greece wouldn’t be considered low case since you’ve had fewer cases than France.
    Is Thassos still covid free?
  • GregoryGregory Member (+) Posts: 39
    Thassos is still free of any covid-19 case. I am sure that Greece will be one of the places to visit. And the hot sand and the sun are two coronavirus killers.
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    Hi Gregory,
    I think social distances and being outside which does reduce germs and contamination in the air quicker than being inside helps but if you look at Mexico which is suffering from it with temperatures of 88f, heat does not mean one is free of it.
  • GregoryGregory Member (+) Posts: 39
    You are right but it seems that the virus does not like heat anyhow. Of course, social distancing is the best way to keep it away.
  • martynnichollsmartynnicholls Member Posts: 9
    Hi Gregory and Augie,
    Just a quick note to say how excellent and informative your posts are.
    Do you know when the ferries to Thassos are going to allow non-Greeks to travel to Thassos? I have a Greek wife and we live in Palio near Kavala and enjoy trips to the beautiful Thassos.
  • GregoryGregory Member (+) Posts: 39
    Everybody is expecting that to happen during May. Last Monday the island opened to lorries that transport all variety of materials, and the island is supposed to open on the 18th of May. We will know for sure on Monday if that is so or there are some restrictions.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited May 2020
    Thank you for the kind words, Martyn! :)

    The latest I've heard is that people with a business on Thassos will be allowed to come to the island starting on the 18th of May so they can prepare to open their business.

    Workers/staff will be allowed to come starting on the 25th of May. They will need to have documentation proving that they have employment on Thassos.

    If coronavirus cases remain low then all restrictions will be lifted on June 1. From that point onwards there will be free movement to Thassos for everybody!

    These plans are subject to change depending on the covid-19 cases in Greece. So far things are going extremely well but if that changes in the next couple of weeks as the restrictions are gradually lifted then the government may postpone opening up the islands to a later date in June.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited May 2020
    Restrictions on travel to Thassos will be totally lifted on 25 May (instead of June 1)

    The government made this announcement today because new coronavirus cases have been very low until now, so they decided to open the islands ahead of schedule.

    They cautiously warned that they may push the date further into the future if Greece sees a significant increase in coronavirus cases until then.
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited May 2020
    Hi everybody :)

    Greece just released its proposals for re-opening tourism within the EU.

    Here are some of the major points:
    • Greece wants to open for tourism to all EU countries by land, air, and sea on June 15
    • Greece proposes that travellers should be required to test for covid-19 in their country of origin within 72 hours of their flight, instead of at the airport
    • Testing shouldn't be mandatory for citizens travelling from a country that has covid-19 under control
    • Wearing a mask should be mandatory on airplanes but keeping a seat empty between passengers should not be required
    See the PDF for all of the proposals (in English):
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 806
    edited May 2020
    Hey Delboy :)

    I asked a local guide who is familiar with this topic (she works with tour operators and agencies) and she said the flights that were canceled are those from Belgium. 2020 would have been the first year for TUI Belgium flights to Kavala. Sad news indeed but maybe there's still hope for TUI flights from the UK and Germany.

    In other news, Greece has officially put in a request to the UK government for the free movement of people who enter the UK from Greece this summer (no automatic 14-day quarantine). I have my fingers crossed for a positive response!
  • DelboyDelboy Member (+) Posts: 358
    Thanks Augie,
    When I saw that I thought TUI had given up on Kavala. So they are a separate TUI operation that would have started up this year and are no longer doing so.
  • ScareyScarey Member Posts: 1
    Hopefully we will be able to travel abroad this year but it doesn’t look likely as on the FCO site all none essential travel abroad is banned until further notice I can’t see anyone from UK travelling anywhere this year so I’ve just resigned myself that we’re staying home this year and looking forward to next year
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