The Greek government has ordered the closure of all the country’s year-round hotels, in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As of March 23rd, these hotels will be shut down until April 30th, according to the decision of Greece officials. There are certain hotels excluded from the ban in order to accommodate the armed forces, medical personnel, EU officials, and other critical professions deemed necessary.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Sunday a national lockdown which took effect earlier Monday – through to April 6. Athens is making every effort to try and push back the coronavirus which has already infected over 600 people.
Reuters reported yesterday on Greece announcing a lockdown on Sunday, in order to restrict movement from Monday morning in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. The PM was quoted as saying:
“It is maybe the last step, one that must be taken promptly and not in vain. We have to protect the common good, our health.”
As of yesterday, citizens in Greece are only allowed to go to or return from work, shopping for food or medicines or visiting a doctor. Here in Heraklion, the streets are totally empty this morning.
Last week, Greece officials announced a €1.8bn support package for businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including wage support for workers at companies that have temporarily shut down and funding for businesses hit by a sharp decline in turnover. Hotels and supportive businesses here on Crete will be some of the hardest hit since Crete is Greece’s most visited island destination.