Hi guys. Not sure if it is any value to your followers looking at vacationing in the Ionian islands this year but I thought I’d let you know our recent experience arriving in Zakynthos yesterday afternoon. Previously we have flown from Bergamo, Italy direct to Kefalonia (because we live in southern Switzerland and our closest airports are Milan) but given we decided to only book last minute a few weeks ago when it seemed things were opening again, we decided to fly from Zürich given Bergamo was once a virus epicentre!
So we took a train from Lugano to Zürich – masks are compulsory on public transport in Switzerland. Our flight from Zürich to Zakynthos was full (!) but masks obviously compulsory.
From the moment we landed in Zakynthos the measures were excellent. Buses on arrival but with about a quarter of the usual occupancy to ensure social distancing. We were the only plane on the tarmac and entered arrivals swiftly. Asked to prepare our PLF and took all of 2 minutes to file through (we were dead last given the time it takes to get too small children organised ) and have our QR code scanned.
I saw 2 or 3 people being tested. Quick and orderly with a mouth swab. Luggage pick up super fast and we were literally out of arrivals after meeting our hire car liaison within 5 minutes. Car was totally sanitised (including steering wheel protection) and we were driving out of the airport 40 minutes are touchdown.
On this island there are many places still closed but many places still open and the attitude is very welcoming.
Tomorrow we will take the ferry across to Pessada where we will spend two weeks on Kefalonia. We can’t wait to get back and hope to help contribute to the summer 2020 season.
I really can’t speak highly enough of the Greek approach to all this. I feel it is a balanced approach to salvaging the livelihood of so many that rely on tourism while mitigating the negative consequences of the inevitable increase in cases.
I am obviously very much in the camp of “there may not be a vaccine for another two years and we need to live with it” but understand others do not or can not be in this camp for various reasons.
However for anyone debating whether it’s worth coming or not I would say it should be a resounding yes
Author – Rebecca Simpson