An unprecedented heatwave took over Greece. The beach season opened with strict social distancing rules: umbrellas are four meters apart from each other and sun loungers are kept one meter apart. People must maintain a mandatory 1.5 meters distance from each other, except for members of the same family who may cluster. Still, no more than forty people are allowed per one thousand square meters. People caught not respecting the social distancing rules may face severe fines as well.
Most beach bars are closed, so beachgoers must bring drinks along if they don’t want to go thirsty. Bars that are open are not allowed to serve alcohol and to play music. Canteens that offer take away can operate. Businesses that don’t respect the rules face fines of up 20,000 € and a three-month closure sanction.
To date, Greece recorded 2,836 COVID-19 infections and 165 casualties. The government hopes to keep the numbers low with its strict social distancing and prevention measures. Citizens embrace these limitations as a new normal, most of them adhering without fussing about the restrictions.
“One understands the value of freedom after so many months indoors,” someone says.
Life goes on, with children swimming and playing on the beach happily. People enjoy nature with fresh vitality.
Greece has more than 500 beaches with some 486 that have a Blue Flag designation. The country counts on tourism for some 20% of its gross revenue and beaches play a key role in achieving this goal.