When will people be allowed to travel again? Will it be safe to travel when the borders and flights reopen? What will vacations look like this summer? Why would you travel to Santorini in 2020?
There have been a lot of questions and insecurity around travel plans since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of people with booked flights and hotels have been forced to cancel or postpone their travel plans, either because of travel restrictions or because travelling at the moment just feels unsafe. There are some very good reasons to travel this year though too. Everyone feels the need to escape and Greece is a great option! While details are still unclear, we know some things that can help with your decision.
Greece is a country that flattened the curve
Greece has been very fortunate so far. The government took precautions very early, and the public behaved, resulting in a reduction of new daily cases very quickly. The hospitals didn’t get overcrowded so patients were able to be treated correctly and there was time to add more intensive care units to the hospitals which were not needed in this first wave of cases. Hopefully, they will not be needed for a second wave either, but just knowing that they are there feels safer.
There is a plan, just in case
Each island will be assigned a space to host mild cases of Coronavirus patients as well as designated doctors for all the hotels. No one can guarantee that any destination will continue to have 0 Coronavirus cases once the borders open. What is important, is to have a safety net, if cases do appear, to know how to treat them. Santorini itself doesn’t yet have intensive care units that can take in severe cases of Coronavirus-positive patients. There is a hospital though and there is also an emergency connection to Athens via helicopters covering the distance in just half an hour.
The style of hotels in Santorini helps with social distancing
Hotels on the caldera of Santorini (the cliff-side) are, in their majority, small. 5, 10 or 20 rooms can’t be compared to hotels that might have 100 or 500 rooms in their property. The number of people will be much smaller in each hotel, taking into account both the visitors and the staff needed. Most hotels on the cliff-side also have private balconies and the rooms are far from each other. Room service in most hotels is an option too if you wish to stay inside and just take in the view from your balcony.
The other businesses are organised to serve safely too
Restaurants and bars all over Greece have been instructed to limit the total number of visitors per sqm of the property as well as have at least 1.5m distance from one table to the other. Also, customers will only be able to be seated and served outdoors. Any indoors space in restaurants and bars will be closed for visitors this summer. This allows some safety between customers, limiting close contact and enforcing social distancing. There are also similar rules for supermarkets, banks, beaches and archaeological places.
Travel deals are great right now
It is the best time to enjoy travel deals. Airline companies and hotels are lowering their rates and being more flexible for cancellations. Book a flight that can be changed (or is so cheap you don’t care if you lose the money!) and a hotel that will make you a deal to reschedule with no fees if needed.
Winter is also a very good option
If you are still worried, or not allowed to travel from your country yet, keep in mind that Santorini is great for winter vacations too. Sure, there will not be a lot of swimming and sunbathing at the beach. There are hikes to take and museums and archaeological places to visit and the sunsets can be much more impressive than during the summer. There are 14 villages to explore and 18 wineries to try wine from. Enough restaurants are open in the winter and driving around is easier, while available parking space is unlimited. The flights are cheaper in the winter and the hotels are cheaper too, with much fewer tourists in each popular spot.