Archive for the ‘Travel/ transport’ Category

The words below have been copied from the article that was published last night in the Greek Travel Pages. For Skopelos I do not know how the rules will be enforced because up till now we have been able to cruise free on the island and go to beaches etc. For those that are not sure of what they can and cannot do, you can ask the authorities.

See below:

Going outside in Greece during lockdown will get harder as of Thursday, March 4, as authorities have tightened rules for leaving home under the SMS system for outside movement.

Since the country’s first lockdown, people have been allowed to leave their homes only for specific reasons and after notifying authorities by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

However, due to the recent sharp spike in new coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country and rise in hospital admissions, the Greek authorities are looking to limit movement between municipalities to curb the spread. Taking under consideration the “excessive use” of certain SMS movement codes, which has resulted to crowding in many areas, some restrictions for leaving home under the SMS system have been announced.

Speaking during Wednesday’s Covid-19 media briefing, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that as of today, Thursday, March 4 (6am) until March 16 (6am), people requesting permission for movement by sending as SMS for option “code 2” (going to supermarkets and essential stores) and option “code 3” (going to banks or public services) will be restricted to movement only in the municipality they are in or within a 2-kilometer distance from their place of residence.

People who send an SMS for option “code 6” (personal exercise or walking a pet), movement will be allowed only on foot or by bicycle, not by car or motorcycle, and only in the municipality of residence.

Also, in order to confirm the correct use of option “code 4” (assistance to the elderly or to a person in need), authorities will request additional clarifications and documentation.

Changes to curfew
The deputy minister also announced that the curfew for areas in “red” (high-risk) status will now be from 9 pm to 5 am and for areas in “dark red” (very high-risk) status, will be from 7 pm to 5 am.

The only “dark red” areas that will have the 9 pm to 5 am curfew will be the Region of Attica and the Regional Unit of Thessaloniki, except on weekends when the 7 pm to 5 am will apply.

During the hours of curfew, outside movement is allowed strictly for specific reasons (such as work and health).

For the rest of the article read Movement restrictions GTP Travel pages

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After the last post this post might bore people but that’s life. It is skopelosnews…

(wonderful day today and the narcissuses are in full bloom!)

The last couple of days the weather has been wonderful and the work in the harbor of Skopelos continued with great speed. Next week an update with photos.

Yesterday was Saint Reginos his nameday. A big celebration like every year could not be held but it was possible to visit the Agios Reginos monastery (on the road to Agnonas/Limnonari-Panormos etc.) The church has been renovated. Many murals have been refreshed and new ones added.

On Sunday there will be a power cut on all the Sporades islands from 08.00 until 09.00 hours in the morning. Volos and Pelion are also affected. For the article look here: power cut

Greece will welcome all UK travelers with or without vaccine certificate. For the whole article look here:GTP travel news

And if you are able to come there might be flight companies that can bring you to Skiathos. Condor has announced their first flights. Hopefully they will not be canceled like so many others last year.

The link to website is her: Condor flights

Have a nice weekend. And remember: “There is more that unites us than divides us. So make it a point to talk with someone who is different from you. You may find that you have more in common than you think” (Johnny Corn)

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A 24-hour strike called by Greece’s main public sector union ADEDY. Ferry travel is also expected to be disrupted on Thursday as five seamen’s unions are joining the 24-hour strike. The strike will run from 00:01 on Thursday until midnight. Not all available boats will be coming and going to Skopelos and the other islands in the Sporades. Proteus might travel. Please ask the ticket offices on the island if you need to travel.

ADEDY is protesting a draft law of the Labor Ministry that includes regulations on working hours, overtime, industrial action and trade unionism.

Air travel in Greece will also face disruption on Thursday as air traffic control personnel and electronic security engineers are participating in the 24-hour strike called for that day. The unions have also announced work stoppages on Wednesday, November 25.

Also on Friday, November 27, the PanHellenic Union of Licensed Aeronautical Telecommunication Officers will hold a 4-hour work suspension from 10am until 2pm.

Those planning to travel by ferry, train or plane in the next few days are advised to contact their travel agents for details.

GTP travel news and Nikos Triandafillou in Glossa

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This is from their press release:

First woman from the Northern Sporades to qualify as a captain from the merchant marine academy Aspropirgos takes on her first command.

Skopeliti woman Kiriaki Provia ,23, has taken her first command as captain after becoming the first Northern Sporades woman to graduate as such from the merchant marine academy. She is now Captain of SeaCab 1 the first boat of the SeaCab company which operates between Skiathos and Skopelos.

She says “I am delighted to take on the captaincy of this ultra modern boat. Transport is the lifeblood of islands and SeaCab is an important innovation to help people access my beautiful home island”.

SeaCabs William Vranas added “Our aim is to create a modern, safe and affordable transport access for Skopelos while supporting and engaging with the local community. So we are so pleased that a young Skopelti woman who is so highly qualified has joined us as captain.”

Seacab website

Photos Martin Becket

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Yesterday I wrote about a passenger information form that needs to be filled out but there is new information aboout a passenger locator form that you need to fill out whilst you are still at home before you come to Greece. I am sorry for the confusion.

The Greek government is trying to make absolutely sure that everybody that enters Greece is registered and can be found whilst they are here. Therefor they decided that from the first of July a passenger locator form (PLF) must be filled in 48 hours before you enter Greece. Greece is highly dependable on incoming tourism and welcomes everybody that wants to visit but on the other hand they want to make sure that those that visit are traceable through the information that they give in case of a corona case. After submitting their PLF form, each traveller will receive a personal QR code, which must be presented, either via mobile phone or on hard copy, upon their arrival in Greece’s.

Please read the information on the website carefully so you know what the procedure is whilst you are travelling. Wear masks and keep a distance from other passengers if that is possible.

Passenger Locator Form

I do not know if the form you fill out for the boat coming to Skopelos is obsolete. It might be good to print it out and have it with you in any case, or go earlier to the ticket office and ask.
Source:E-Kathermerini GTP travel news

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Seacab is starting again on the first of July. It will travel from Skiathos to Loutraki, Elios or Agnondas. On request there might be other stops on that side of the island.
Please make contact with the company before you travel and book your trip. The company prefers you send fill out the questionaire so your confirmation is on paper etc. It is better than calling. When it is absolutely nessecary call: +30 306934343287 (update 24/06/2020)

Seacab website

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Below I have scanned the health declaration that adults (children under 18 you include on your form) need to fill out when they travel with a boat going to Skopelos and any other destination ( to go and for the return journey) that you have to reach by boat. You can print this one (which is not affiliated to a shipping company) that I have linked below and fill out the details that don’t change like; family names etc and fill in the name of the boat etc. just before you travel.

If you want to fill out the health declaration before embarkation please go a little earlier to the ticket office and get the forms and fill them out. When you reach the boat somebody will take the form and examin it and after that you can go inside.

The link is here: pre boarding health questionaire

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On Friday I had to go to Volos and armed with a couple of masks I started the journey. In the flying dolphin everybody had masks on from the start and I did not see anybody taking it of during the journey. I did not think I could keep the mask on but if you sit still it is ok to do. When you are travelling with a ferryboat it is easier because you can go outside. Leaving the boat I took my mask of and deposited it in a bag so I could wash it at home. I saw that in the bars and shops with food, like bakeries, the employees all wore masks and almost every store has signs which tell you how many people can go into the store at once. Near the entrance are places with anti septic gel. I heard that health inspectors from local government organizations go to cities/villages/beaches/clubs/shops etc. and check if personnel and owners abide to the rules that are set up by the government and impose fines when necessary. Police, city police and harbor police also check.

The place that I needed to visit receives many people all day. Here I used my second mask. Only those with an appointment could go in and only after they were called out. You had to tell them you had arrived and on the pavement were small benches and chairs. When you were called in you had to leave your papers and go out again. Then you were called for the actual appointment and go out after that again. Back in again for the results. Very organized everything. Everybody with a mask, signs everywhere for the distance you had to keep. I used my third self made mask on the journey back.

When you are coming to Greece please try to find out what rules apply for the country you are coming from. At the moment everybody gets a test and waiting for the result means you need to stay in a hotel for a night. When the result are negative you can travel on but you need to self quarantine for a week. When you are tested and positive you need to go to a hotel that the government will pick for you and there, under supervision, you need to be in quarantine for 14 days. This might change after the first of July.

The information below is from the Athens-Makedonia press agency.

The Athens and Thessaloniki international airports will lift some restrictions for incoming international flights on Monday the 15th of June, with specific health safety protocols in place on the ground.
Specifically, as of Monday, Athens International Airport (which continued to receive international flights from specific countries during the last three months), will lift restrictions on arrivals from Italy, Spain and The Netherlands until June 30. Flights from Albania and North Macedonia, will be allowed only for essential travel of non-tourist nature, while the ban on flights from Great Britain and Turkey will be maintained, regardless of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) list.
The Thessaloniki International Airport, after three months of restrictions, will, as of Monday too and until June 30 receive all international flights, except those from Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia.
All other airports across the country will open to international flights on July 1.
A 1.5 meters distance among everyone at airports and at all times must be observed as must the use of face masks.
Passengers arriving from June 15-30 from airports outside of the EASA list and from Italy, Spain and The Netherlands will be sampled and travelers will be subjected to one day of self-isolation at a hotel of their choice until the test result is available; if the test is positive, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
As of July 1, all travelers arriving in Greece will have to submit a Passenger Load Factor (PLF) form with their contact details in Greece.

Source: ANA-MPA

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Getting here

seaside Skopelos

On Monday two ferry boats and a flying dolphin will sail between the Sporades and Evia (Mantoudi) For more info.
I advise to look at http://www.openseas.gr. You can search with English terms.

Greece will open its borders for 29 countries from June 15.
I imagine that week by week more countries will be added to this list and that on the first of July all the other local airports will start receiving more visitors mainly with charters.

The tourism ministry on Friday announced the list of countries for which Greece’s borders will be “open” from June 15, with flights permitted to land in Athens and Thessaloniki. In detail, the list of countries is as follows:

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Finland.

The list of 29 countries was drawn up after a study of the epidemiological profile of the countries of origin of tourists and after taking into account Thursday’s announcements of the European Air Safety Agency (EASA), as well as the relevant proposal of the Infectious Disease Committee. For the whole article click below.
Greece opens its borders

Bus stop Limnonari

Protected from the sun and with a nice bench is this bus stop on the crossing to Limnonari

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(Skopelos today, early in the morning with a cloudy sky..)

Not all bars and restaurants on Skopelos opened today but many made an effort. It is good to see. I will show photo’s in the coming days of places you know and love. It were mainly locals drinking a coffee today because we don’t have visitors from abroad yet. We also see that Greeks from the mainland with shops and businesses came to Skopelos and are opening their places too.

After my message yesterday there were many comments (on Facebook) about whether you would, could, should come to Greece or not. Greece will have visitors from abroad coming accordingly to the timeline the Greek government has set. It is a done deal. I think it is safe to say that the Greeks and the people from Skopelos want people to visit and spend money, because they need it. A big part of Greece relies heavily on tourism.

I don’t think it is good to start judging people who want to travel to Greece in general and in particular to Skopelos. Everybody should have the right to make the decision whether they want to come or not. I think most people will keep in mind not to travel if they have symptoms that might indicate they have the virus and that during the their stay they should avoid being in big crowds and keep social distancing in place.

It is their choice though and be sure that they will be welcomed with “open arms”. When you can visit Greece depends on the country you come from. If your country has many casualties it will probably take longer and there might be a obligatory 14 days quarantine when you return to your country. That might be lifted by the time you start travelling because the amount of casualties per day has declined. It is all up to the governement of your country.

I think that the decisiveness, openess and the speaking with one voice of the Greek governement will help businesses and visitors to comply to the rules that have been implemented and it will make visitors feel safe to travel and holiday in Greece. For all kinds of business there are different protocols that should be followed and in general there is a healthy discussion possible about it. The rules will be checked for everybody’s sake and fines will be given when nessecary.

The Greek goverment has said that it wants to help out everybody and help re-start the economy. Mistakes have been made because so much is unknown and new rules and directives are implemented, adjusted and changed accordingly to results and experience. I think there is a general feeling that everybody wants to get on with it.

In the meantime on Skopelos, a lot of repairs and work have been going on. Kastro area, the square, the stairs going up en the surrounding area got a facelift. Stone walls repaied and built, the electricity on the square and along the staircase up is being re-newed and a waterpoint is being installed. I will show more of other work in the coming days.

Athens airport has released the guidelines that incoming passengers to Greece should follow. I have put them on my corona page. I think the same will apply for the other airports that will re-open in July.

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