Almost 200 Dutch travelers arrived on Rhodes earlier this week for a highly publicized “test” vacation at the luxurious Mitsis Grand Hotel on the beachside. The tourists, who all tested negative for coronavirus, have been lapping up the healing sun rays on the paradise island. But, without being allowed to leave the resort premises.
Last month we reported on this strange experiment where 187 Dutch vacationers would become a test case to see if Greek precautions and procedures will prove adequate when the season opens fully on May 14th. The all-inclusive resort will certainly be the nicest detention camp on Earth, where travelers can swim in the hotel pool, but not in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea just across the street.
According to ANA and AFP, the Dutch tourists’ “hotel quarantine” program is taking place as part of a pilot being run by Dutch operator Sunweb, in cooperation with the Greek and Dutch governments. Somehow, flying to Rhodes to stay at a beach resort without being allowed to go to the beach, seems bizarre to this writer. And the tourists won’t exactly be tourists, since they’ll miss out on not only the beach, but the island’s amazing temples (feature image), history, shopping, and more.
On social media, the Dutch and Greek tourism bosses took heat for creating a luxury prison stay, and other disparaging comments. The resort shared the strangeness of the situation via its Instagram feed (above). Of course, the upside of becoming a lab rat for eight days is the price, for only €399 (£345) each, the Dutch tourists get “all-inclusive” access to the pool, restaurants, and other facilities at the resort.
The Dutch tourists will also undergo “rapid tests” before leaving Greece on April 16, according to the Greek news agency ANA.