Crete is not mainland Greece: it is a self-sufficient island. As such, while continental Greece may have a red alert “do not travel” level 4 advisory notice in many countries around the world, the island is safer.
Nevertheless: vaccines save lives—yours and others. And while Crete doesn’t have a staggering number of COVID-19 infections, the stats are alarming for the disease/ population ratio. There were already 315 reported cases today.
So, is it safe to travel to Crete now? Unfortunately, the short answer is NO, and here’s why:
- There’s a level 4 “Do not travel to Greece due to COVID-19” advisory notice in place in many countries. However, bear in mind that Crete is somewhat safer than mainland Greece (Athens, for example), and if you must travel here, you are likely to return home without carrying a COVID-19 buddy on your sleeve.
- While you could enter the country without being immunized (COVID-19 vaccines and/plus booster), you still need to comply with local regulatory guidelines (rules), including governmentally approved registered results for a self-test or a rapid test. In addition, quarantine measures may apply arbitrarily (surprise, surprise!) or depending on these results. See the local statistics (unfortunately, just in Greek – and you’d think that a small country relying so much on international travel would bother more with translations…) here.
- While you could walk about without wearing a mask, the chances are that the police will stop you and give you a steep fine – 300 € or more. Do note that masks are “back in style” and wear them at all times to avoid unnecessary hassle.
- The number of COVID-19 cases is out of the charts for a country once praised as a beacon of hope among a crippling pandemic. Back in the spring of 2020, Greece was celebrated as a country that “escaped” the coronavirus effects while the rest of the world was panicking.
- Greece had 6,677 new cases and 108 new deaths in the past 24 hours. These numbers fluctuate. The good news is that 3504 previously infected people who needed ICU recovered.
- The threat of getting infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant is not taken lightly on Crete island, and residents are frightened: “when is this going to end?” they ask. At the same time, government officials try to tame their worries. The President of the Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors’ Association (EINAP), Matina Pagoni, told Athens 98.4 FM: “Right now we are focusing on Delta, and we are waiting for results regarding the potency of the Omicron mutation and the vaccines’ effectiveness in 15 days.”
But all these are not safety but health issues. So it is safe to travel to Crete now if you don’t worry about COVID-19 and are ready to comply with the local rules and regulations regarding public health. For your protection against criminality and attacks, Crete is one of the safest Greek destinations.