A series of measures for the safe operation of coastal shipping vessels and pleasure boats/private yachts when traveling in Greece, during the post-Covid-19 period, were announced by the Greek Maritime Ministry on Friday.
“Step by step we are planning the next day of ferry transport, with rules and guidelines aimed at protecting the health of passengers and crews of ships as much as possible, as well as public health on each Greek island. The further lifting of restrictions on ferry travel will be constantly monitored and solely depends on ourselves and our compliance with the measures,” Greek Maritime Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said.
The following measures will take effect from Monday, May 18 until Monday, June 15.
The ministry’s announcement regarding coastal shipping vessels:
- Ferries are allowed to carry 50 percent of their maximum passenger capacity set by current legislation. Ships that have cabins are allowed to transport 55 percent of their original passenger capacity.
- Pre-boarding entry screening measures: Prior to boarding a ferry at Greek ports of departure, passengers are obliged to hand over a previously filled out health status questionnaire (available at ports or it can be downloaded from a special website, which will be announced). Thermal screening will be applied to all passengers entering ferries.
- Passengers must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters between each other during boarding, disembarkation and in all areas of the ship.
- Only one passenger will be allowed per cabin or up to four passengers per family. A person with special needs will be allowed to be accompanied by one person.
- Masks (made of fabric is recommended) must be worn by passengers and crew members.
- Seating in airplane-type seats is allowed according to a special layout as passengers must maintain distances. Special markings will indicate where a passenger is allowed to sit.
- Passengers of international ships serving Greece-Italy routes must submit a health status questionnaire when boarding. Thermal screening will be applied to all passengers.
- A printed brochure of EODY (Greece’s public health organization), explaining the measures, should be handed out to all passengers. Ships should also have informative spots and play audio messages on speakers.
- Crews must undergo special training.
- Rules of personal hygiene must be applied by all passengers. All ships must have antiseptic stations in various areas.
- All ships must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- Ships must provide ventilation and air conditioning.
- Specific rules apply for the the proper management of a suspected Covid-19 case (isolation in a special area, disembarkation at the next port which has the necessary capacity for managing the case, tracking of the patient’s contacts, etc.).
- Special rules apply at all passenger service points (bars, restaurants, dining rooms) of ships.
It should be noted that travel to the Greek islands is still prohibited for the general public and allowed strictly to owners and their employees of businesses that have reopened.
Greece will lift its restrictions for travel to the island of Crete from Monday. Travel to all of the Greek islands is expected to be allowed as of Monday, May 25.
Measures for pleasure boats/private yachts arriving from abroad after the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictive measures:
- Entry rules for private yachts and commercial pleasure boats (except cruise ships) in ports, marinas and shipyards of mainland Greece, arriving from abroad. Such vessels are allowed to enter Greek ports only if they have no passengers, under specific health rules and with permission of the competent authority.
- Continuation of the ban of boat arrivals from foreign countries for which special restrictive measures are still in force (eg Turkey).
- Mandatory testing of the owner of the vessel and crew members in a certified laboratory (at their expense).
- Vessels in long-term mooring at Greek ports throughout the Covid-19 pandemic must abide by EODY’s guidelines.
- Owners of vessels must submit a maritime health declaration.
- Information regarding the rules and regulations taken for COVID-19 in the port of use must be provided to vessel owners and crew.
- Specific rules apply for the proper management of a suspicious or confirmed case on board.
Greece’s sailing ban on private pleasure boats arriving from abroad and entering its ports will be lifted on May 18.