The timetable announced for re-opening
May 25, cafes and restaurants reopen
June 1 camp sites and city hotels.
June 15 all hotels can open
June 15 Greeceopens to foreign tourism via El. Venizelos.
July 1 all Greek airports can reopen to foreign tourists
Initially from 1 July it is reported only visitors from the following countries will be accepted Cyprus, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia. , Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
We note the assessment document talks about gradual removing of exceptions (countries) from July 15, the Greek government is expected to issue further guidance on this subject before the end of May, these include countries key to Kefalonia tourism demand including UK, Italy and Germany.
The health protocol for reopening cafes and restaurants has been issued
The health protocol for air travel has been issued.
The health protocol for reopening hotels and other accommodation has not been officially issued yet
So where does that leave tourism at present?
There are at least four significant steps that need answering before its realistic for visitors and tourist facilities to open in big numbers this season;
(1) – Demand to travel from the Northern Europe market which supplies most tourists to Kefalonia and Greece
(2) – Stance of UK government regarding bilateral agreement with Greece ( at present they appear intent on recommending domestic tourism only this year)
(3) – Pandemic status in UK during Summer months ( if its not low it will fail a requirement set by EU and Greece to travel)
(4) – Greek assessment of medical care in Kefalonia should a case happen on the island. (the Greek risk assessment can be seen below) including consideration of quarantine hotel, doctor allocation to each hotel, testing process, transportation to suitable medical facility etc.
We believe once the costs associated with the finalised health protocols for the hotels are announced the hoteliers will have sufficient data alongside the airlines to see the actual demand, costs associated with opening this season or staying closed and risk from main markets not meeting health criteria at which stage they will make final decisions in early June.
In parallel many places will open for domestic and other countries tourists alongside some cafes and restaurants that do not rely solely on tourism. At present most cafes are getting ready to open and some accommodation on the island is showing increased preparation activity.