Coronavirus Updates for Hydra Island Greece

 

 

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During the CoVid-19 Crisis, I would like to ask for your help. Most of my small business advertisers on HydraDirect have not been able to open after the winter because of the lockdown and with little prospect of good business for 2020, are not able to pay their annual advertising subscription. So, because my small business depends on advertising fees only, I am also finding it impossible to pay the essential bills to keep HydraDirect up and running. If you can, as a user of the information on my site or someone who is mentioned on it, please will you consider making a small donation? Every little bit of help will be appreciated! Please click the donate button below if you can help. Warm regards, Kelsey.

 

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UPDATED 20/05/2020

 

DOMESTIC TRAVEL
From 25th May, ok to travel to/from Hydra within Greece.
From 1st June all-year-round hotels/guesthouses can reopen (only for Greek visitors. Everyone else after the 15th June).
From 15th June seasonal accommodation can reopen (Greek and non-Greek so long as they are coming from acceptable countries).

 

15 June - FLIGHTS INTO ATHENS (AIA Eleftherios Venizelos) will recommence. But only for those countries who have good epidemiological criteria. This is likely to be limited to Germany, Northern Europe, Bulgaria, the Balkans, Cyprus & Isreal. The full list of countries allowed to fly to AIA will be announced at the end of May.

1 July flights to all other Greek airports will be reopened to all countries included on the list to be announced a the end of May.

 

Greece will not require a health certificate or proof of testing prior to departure and no quarantine will be imposed. However, visitors may be required to be tested once in Greece.

 

The Greek Government have said that extra medical staff will be allocated to some tourist destinations (doesn't specify whether Hydra is included or not). Plus an operational plan is being developed at the moment to specify how potentially infected visitors will be managed and sent to health care facilities.

 

All visitors will be required to adhere to the requirements in place in Greece at the time when they are here. That is masks are mandatory on all forms of transport, social distancing must still be observed, etc.

 

UPDATED: 20:42, 28/04/2020

 

This evening the Greek Government has announced a cautious relaxation of restrictions as follows:

The new slogan is: “We can leave home- but always safely and responsibly”.

The emphasis is on staying safe & following the health and safety guidelines responsibly.

The gradual easing of the lockdown will happen in 7 stages. These stages may need to change or be updated depending on the prevalent situation at each stage.

 

Stage 1:  Monday 4th May

  • SMS  messages or other written permits will no longer be needed in order to leave home.
  • We will not be allowed to travel outside our municipality for a least the next two weeks.
  • Travel from the mainland to islands will continue to be banned as it is at present. (The ban will be reviewed Monday 18 May)
  • You will be allowed to swim and go to the beach but public/organised beaches will remain closed.
  • Hairdressers, barbers,  beauty parlours, opticians, ear-specialists (visits to these by prior appointment only) shoe shops, bookshops, athletics/sports shops, flower/plant shops & electronic shops will open.
  • Churches will open for private worship. (They will hold services from 17th May)
  • There are technical guidelines for how many people are allowed in each enclosed space according to square metres and the business owners will know these.
  • 2 metres distancing between people at all times will continue through all stages
  • Avoid the use of air conditioning.
  • Wearing of gloves will be mandatory in hairdressers and beauty parlours
  • Supermarkets will continue to supply antiseptic lotion for use on entering.
  • Mandatory wearing of a facemask in public transport, (ie water taxis) and in enclosed spaces (eg all shops & supermarkets)
  • Elderly should continue to stay home during May.
  • Frequent hand-washing continues.

 

Stage 2:   Monday 11th May

  • All other commercial enterprises/ businesses will open.
  • Schools will open (for final year (3rd) of Lykeio only)
  • The previous safety guidelines will continue

 

Stage 3:   Monday 18th May

  • Public parks, zoos, archaeological sites, & betting shops will open.
  • It will be reviewed on this day as to whether travel to and from islands will be allowed again.

 

Stage 4:   Monday 1st June: (this is not a definite date – it is a hoped-for date – it might be later in June)

  • Restaurant and cafes operating outdoors only will open. 2 metres between tables, no more than 4 people at a table. Single-use gloves and face masks to be worn by waiters.
  • Hotels that are usually open for 12mths of the year will reopen.

 

Stages 5 – 7  Summer cinemas and playgrounds will open. Stadiums and theatres may possibly open. The date for Stages  5- 7 to be defined and announced in June. There will be new announcements and updates after 18th June.

 

It is considered by Mr Mitsotakis extremely unlikely that events such as festivals, sports games large concerts or theatres will operate in the summer.

 

As of 28/04/2020: the Government have made no announcements about when borders will open or when visitors will be allowed to return. It is expected that announcements for reopening holiday homes and seasonal accommodation (guest houses, pensions, etc) will be announced mid-June.

 

 

 

 

RESTRICTIONS UPDATE 2/4/2020: With immediate effect, all sea activities are BANNED. NO swimming in the sea, NO private boats on the sea, NO fishing & NO sea-related activities such as diving. ALL types of beaches continue to be closed (that means you are not allowed on them if you go for a walk even). No end date has been announced.

 

RESTRICTION UPDATE 2/4/2020 - With immediate effect, for each person, it will be impossible to board any sea vessel, including Hellenic Seaways dolphin or cat to or from Piraeus and Hydra, without a PRE-BOARDING Declaration form AND your current (2019) Greek E1 tax declaration showing your permanent residential address for your destination AND your passport/ID. This is part of the preventative measures to stop people from travelling in the run-up to Pascha and avoid contaminating the Greek islands, including Hydra. No end date has been specified.

 

23/3/20 - TOTAL LOCKDOWN FROM 6am tomorrow (23 March) until 6 April 2020:

 

From 6am tomorrow (23/3/2020) and for each occasion, anyone leaves their home, each person must have documentation and ID/Passport WITH THEM stating the reason for being out of their home. They must be able to provide the police or authorities with the form and ID when requested or will get an immediate fine of €150.

 

The form and further details will be found online at https://forma.gov.gr/ This website has just been activated but is not yet in English. If you don’t have a printer you will be able to handwrite the statement you are given. It is also intended that you will be able to get the authorisation by SMS but the number 13033, is not yet activated.

 

Section A is for essential workers.

 

Section B is for any other reasons to leave the house, which is limited only to:

 

1 Going to the chemist or doctor by appointment

2 Essential Food shopping (when it’s not possible to be delivered)

3 Visiting the bank (if transactions can’t be done online)

4 To visit a needy/ill person or family member

5 Attending a church service, funeral, wedding or baptism

6 Walking the dog (no more than 2 people walking 1.5 meters apart) or to go jogging for exercise (only 1 person on their own) Not on beaches

7 Travelling to permanent country or place of residential address (once only during this time)

 

Any infringement of the law; e.g. for incorrect declaration, for not having the prescribed permit or not having your ID/Passport will incur a fine of €150.

 

The police and authorities will be using CCTV and drones to help enforcement.

 

Please also note that anyone who breaks their 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Greece from abroad will be fined €5000.

 

Announced 20/3/20 to come into force Saturday 21/3/20 at 06:00 No sea travel to any of the Greek Islands, obviously Hydra as well, from 6am tomorrow (Sat 21st March) announced by Government to curb travel by non-residents. Anyone wanting to travel by dolphin/cat, on the Freedom (from Metochi), the Christos (from Ermioni) and even with a sea taxi (from the mainland) will be required to show their AFM with their address of permanent residency on Hydra before being allowed to travel. And even then, it must be for emergency/essential reasons. Non-residents on the island will be allowed to leave. The government is expected to issue the relevant ministerial decision detailing its decision's context and exceptions.

 

Announced 19/3/20 to come into force Sunday 22/3/20 all passenger flights in and out of Greece to STOP. See: http://en.protothema.gr/coronavirus-lockdown-no-flights-to-from-greece-starting-from-sunday/

 

18/3/20 Meetings of more than 10 people are banned.

 

18/3/20 Police on Hydra are respectfully asking non-essential people walking in the town who are obviously not on essential business to return to where they are staying.

 

17/3/20: EU has now CLOSED external borders (as of 12 noon today, Tuesday 17th March) for 30 days (until 15th April) in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. So no flights in or out of the European Union. In spite of Brexit, UK nationals are still allowed to fly home from Greece, but the Foreign Office is recommending Britons only leave the UK for ESSENTIAL reasons.

 

As of Wednesday 18th March, anyone coming into Greece from abroad must mandatorily self isolate in their own homes for 14 days.

 

As of Wednesday 18th March, all non-essential shops must close (on Hydra this applies to clothes, jewellery, gift shops etc.) All essential services such as post office, banks, couriers, supermarkets, pet shop, heating/gas suppliers will stay open with restrictions as to how many people can enter at the same time.

 

For any municipal or KEDY services you must use online facilities and phone. You are NOT allowed to just call in without an appointment. You MUST PHONE FIRST.

Municipality: 22983 20202

KEDY Office: 22983 20260

for the revenue section: mainly for applications for square meters correction, citizens are asked to use the special electronic application: https://tetragonika.govapp.gr/. The relevant deadline is 30/6/2020.

Social grocery store: 22093 20204

 

All types of tourist accommodation closed until the 30th of April. This applies to holiday rentals, hotels, guesthouses and any other temporary accommodation.

 

The 3-island cruise boat is no longer stopping at Hydra at the request of our Mayor.

 

All schools have been closed and the playground locked.

 

The island’s restaurants, cafes and bars are closed. Those that can, like the Isalos and Psarapoula, are providing packed takeaway food which can be ordered by phone or email.

 

The museums are closed.

 

Organised beaches are closed.

 

The Hydra’s Trail Event at the beginning of April has been cancelled. https://hydrastrail.gr/?lang=en

 

The supermarkets are operating at full strength, the shelves are well stocked and there is no panic buying. To help islanders, it is possible to phone and email shopping lists to the supermarkets for home deliveries. 

Bexis/Kritikos 22980 52283

Rabias 22980 54064

Maragos 22980 52111

Mitsiou 22980 52520

SuperKmarket 22980 53707

Four Corners 22980 53537

In case of illness (regardless of type, phone for instructions first)

Rafalias Pharmacy 22980 52059

Gavalas Pharmacy 22980 53260

Hospital 22980 53150 or 53151

GP Surgery 22980 52420

 

16/3/20 - new restrictions for Supermarkets come into force limiting the number of people allowed in shops at the same time, etc. For Hydriots it is now even more important that you phone your order to your shop for home delivery to avoid spending a long time outside waiting to get inside!

 

The pharmacies, doctors, nurses, surgery and hospital are all functioning but people must phone first for instructions in case of illness. There have been no reported instances of Coronavirus on Hydra. IF that should happen, the municipality already has the helicopter on standby to evacuate any cases quickly without them having to use the public transport boats.

 

The hydrofoils and passenger boats and supply boats are all still running to provide supplies and for emergency travel.

 

16/03/20 - The Hydrofoils are for EMERGENCY travel only - day trips off the island or to the island is not an emergency!

 

The island’s builders and trades are still operating at full strength. And those who would normally be working in cafes, etc. are busy with DIY projects that the winter weather put off but can now be completed with the glorious weather we are having here.

 

Hydra is well covered with a good internet connection and so communication has been good. It’s rapidly becoming the preferred method of communication by islanders who are staying at home.

 

I hope this helps to explain the state of the measures taken so you can make informed decisions in the short term if you were planning to visit Hydra.

 

I must also say a personal thank you to all the Municipality, Medical and Emergency Services of Hydra for implementing all the measures necessary to keep us all safe. It is impressive and very reassuring.

 

Regards, Kelsey

 

PS if you are concerned or unsure, please don't hesitate to contact me or follow Hydradirect on Facebook.

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