OK so the Kefalonia holiday is on – What should you expect to be different this year?

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kefaloniapulse

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Well first and foremost Kefalonia is naturally a laid back environment where its easy to isolate within your family or group of friends and enjoy all the natural beauty of the island during high season but with much less people about which in most cases will add to your enjoyment this year.

But as were in the midst of the covid era for your safety a few extra precautions will be in place to safeguard you and the residents during your stay.

This information is still evolving and we will update through the season. It may also seem onerous in written format but it’s all very simple and good common sense.

ARRIVALS


Prior to flying you will have completed your PLF and been assigned a QR code. Spot Covid-19 tests for visitors arriving to Greece will be conducted using swab tests and will be mandatory for those selected this will be based on the origin of your flight and the information on the PLF. Those tested will potentially be asked to quarantine for the first 24 hours in their accommodation until the results are returned, negative and your free to roam, positive and you will be placed in a local quarantine hotel for 14 days. Potentially you may also be contacted and asked to isolate if you had close contact with another person who has been found to be positive.

The use of face masks is mandatory in airport terminal; a mask must be kept on throughout a passenger’s stay in the airport areas, during boarding, and during the flight (domestic or international). Passengers should also be aware that they may be asked to temporarily remove their mask during security processes and identity checks. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available.

Plexiglass panels have been installed for additional protection in areas where contact with employees is necessary such as ticket desks and information counters. To minimize waiting times, passengers are encouraged to select e-service options (web check-in) prior to their departure for the airport, as well as within the airport areas (self check-in, baggage-tag printing, drop-off baggage, e-parking). Seating in all waiting areas has been re-arranged to allow for safe minimum distances. The current recommendation is that every other seat be left vacant. However, families or couples traveling together do not have to keep this distance.

BEACHES – ORGANIZED WITH BEACH CLUBS


A minimum distance of 4 meters must be maintained between individual umbrellas, each of which will provide shade for two sun loungers at most – this does not apply to families with children. Two sunbeds that are under different umbrellas cannot be placed closer to each other than 1.5m.

Placing a towel on top of sun loungers is mandatory and considered the responsibility of the user. The staff at organized beaches and beach clubs are required to disinfect sun loungers/chairs after every use. Additionally, they must regularly disinfect sanitary facilities and post a schedule of that cleaning for official review.

Team sports (such as beach volleyball) involving close contact are forbidden.

Beach bars and food trucks offering food and drink can serve items in a package (and continue to offer take-away services). Spaced out chairs and tables are allowed in café or bar space with customers seated at least 1.5 meters apart. Alcohol can be sold but cannot be consumed at the bar to prevent overcrowding.

The ban on playing music at organized beaches has been lifted. However, it is recommended for owners of bars and cafes operating in beach areas to avoid holding events that would cause overcrowding.

BOATS (FERRIES)


Boats (ferries) will travel at 60% capacity – or 65% for boats with cabins on board. Passengers will be required to answer a series of questions and have their temperatures taken before boarding. Passengers who present symptoms or are deemed at risk of infection (e.g. due to exposure to a Covid-19 patient in the 14 previous days) will be refused permission to board the boat.

Passengers inside the boat will have to remain at a 1.5m distance from each other, and the number of aircraft-type seats will be reduced. Two persons maximum will be allowed in each cabin, except for families of up to 4 people, and people with disabilities traveling with companions.

The use of a mask on board vessels is mandatory. Crews have been trained to respond to potential coronavirus cases, and boats will be disinfected after completing each sea route. Further policy updates are expected as of June 15.

CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT AT HOTELS


Check-in and check-out times have been changed – check-out to 11:00 and check-in to 15:00. The added time between each check-out and check-in is necessary to ensure that each room is thoroughly disinfected between stays, and that the space is adequately ventilated.

You may see a plexiglass screen at the reception desk – their presence is at the discretion of hotel management. Hand sanitizers, on the other hand, are mandatory.

Other measures the hotel must perform include disinfecting all card keys after each stay. Wherever possible, you are encouraged to check in at an outdoor reception station. The use of electronic alternatives to check-in and check-out, such as Mobile Concierge apps, is preferable, as are electronic payments upon check-out. It is likely that any accounts, invoices or receipts will be sent to you via email. Cash will be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

EAT & DRINK


Both indoor and outdoor seating is now permitted at restaurants across the country (although outdoor dining is still recommended where possible). Servers must wear face masks. The minimum distance allowed between tables ranges from 70cm to 170cm, and no more than six people are allowed at one table, although these restrictions do not apply to families with children.

Information signs will remind people of individual hygiene rules and of safety measures applying to all spaces. Customers will be encouraged to make electronic transactions. Sanitizer gel will be available at cash registers; if the owner deems it necessary, a protective plexiglass screen will be installed, as well as markings on the floor to delimit safe distances for queuing.

At hotel buffets disinfectant will be provided for hands at the dining area’s entrance. Staff must make sure that it is used by customers. All hotels must install sneeze guards (protective food guards that protect buffet line entrées and sides from airborne contaminants). The food at the buffet will be served only by the hotel’s kitchen staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves). The customer should not come in contact with the food or the utensils at the buffet.

It is recommended for food to be placed in individual packets in areas where staff is not serving.

Automatic coffee machines, juicers, etc., should only be used by the staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves).

With regards to hotel bars only packaged individual side dishes are provided with drinks. Room service is encouraged at no extra charge.

HOUSEKEEPING AT HOTELS


Housekeeping will be less frequent during stays, and turndown services have been abolished. Towels and sheets will be changed upon customer request only. As you enter your room for the first time, look for the sign that will tell you when and how your room was last cleaned.

Hotel owners have the choice between two cleaning options: they can either clean it in the usual way after a customer leaves and keep it closed for 24 hours until the next one comes, or perform a thorough cleansing and disinfection using a steam cleaner, UV rays or other such equipment on all room and bathroom surfaces.

Hotel owners have been advised to get rid of decorative objects such as throw pillows. Getting rid of reusable items likely to be shared, such as menus and magazines, is recommended as well. Disposable covers will be placed on TV and air conditioner remote controls. Upholstery fabric must be cleaned with a vapor steam cleaner – at temperatures exceeding 70°C.

ΙNFORMATION (HEALTH-RELATED) @ HOTELS


Upon arrival, you’re advised to ask about the establishment’s policy in case of health incidents and about the medical facilities in the general area, including the public and private hospitals, Covid-19 referral hospitals, and the pharmacies. Hotels are advised to provide printed brochures with basic health instructions translated into English, French and German, as no such electronic app currently exists.

LIVE PERFORMANCES


Live performances will begin after July 1 and will take place exclusively at outdoor venues. Venues will operate at 40% capacity to allow distances to be kept. The stage will be set at least 3 meters away from the first row of seats; for concerts where the audience is standing, a distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained between members of the audience.

MUSEUMS


Museums reopened on June 15. Visitors will have to keep a distance of 2 meters between each other and are encouraged to wear protective masks and make their transactions with a credit or debit card. Museums can only use air conditioning where these are open-circuit (i.e. allow fresh air to enter the building). A limited number of people will be allowed entry every hour. The use protective masks and alcohol-based antiseptic hand sanitizer is recommended.

ΟPEN-AIR CINEMAS


This summer delight comes back to us on June 1, but will operate with new safety rules, the most important one being the reduction of the number of seats to 75% of the theater’s capacity with space between every two seats and 1,5 safety distance during the entrance and exit of the audience. The use of masks is optional for the audience but not for the employees who also need to use single-use gloves.

QUEUES


Greeks have recently shown remarkable discipline in complying with the “queuing regulations” now in place (okay, with a few exceptions). The main rule to observe is to remain at least 1.5 – 2 meters from others in the queue. In many shops and other areas floor markings have been placed to aid with physical distancing.

RENT A CAR


Rental cars will be disinfected between uses by different clients. Additionally, the number of passengers allowed will be restricted: For cars with up to five seats, only the driver plus two passenger will be allowed in the vehicle. For those with 6-7 seats, the driver plus three passengers. These restrictions do not apply for families with children. These restrictions are due for update on 12 July and your hire car company will confirm their policy.

SHOPPING


You may need to wait for a few minutes before entering many shops. Smaller ones up to 20 m2 will be able to host a maximum of 4 people at the same time (including employees). Stores from 20 to 100 m2 can have a maximum of 4 people inside plus one person for every additional 10 m2. Stores 100 m2 and above will be able to welcome a maximum of 12 people, plus one more person for every additional 15 m2. Distances of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained by customers and employees and the use of masks is mandatory.

SWIMMING POOLS


Sunbeds must be placed so that two people sitting under two different umbrellas, or two people staying in two different rooms maintain a distance of at least 2 meters in every direction. Every time a customer leaves, seats, tables, security boxes, menus and any other item the next customer may use must be disinfected. Pools are advised to provide towels covering beds’ surfaces as well as to clean every sunbed / chair between uses. It is recommended that cushions and fabric coverings be removed from sunbeds.

The use of indoor swimming pools is forbidden until further notice.

TOUR BUSES


All tourist buses are allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity. All passengers must wear protective masks on board. All tour buses must provide hand sanitizer by the entrance. Companies are advised to install transparent protective dividers in buses between the driver and the passengers. On special open-air tourist buses, at stops passengers will only be allowed to embark after all those getting off have done so. After each route, the cleaning of surfaces and high contact spots (e.g. handles) is advised.

source – based on information greece- is.com



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