Most Greeks — who’ve endured months of lockdown — would agree with that sentiment, stated Ms. Nakou, the analyst. “I think there is little alternative, to be honest, given the importance of the sector in the economy,” she stated.
But Ms. Nakou famous that Covid case numbers rose after the nation’s opening to vacationers final summer season, and that many Greeks related the arrival of tourists with a rise in the circulation of the virus. She famous that in a survey performed amongst Greeks final fall, tourism was the mostly cited consider inflicting the second wave, forward of individuals flouting lockdown guidelines, in addition to congestion in public transport or in eating places.
“I think that is at the back of a lot of people’s minds locally,” stated Ms. Nakou. “They’re pleased to see the economy reopening; they’re also quite worried about this.”
In phrases of every day new infections, Greece’s worst second of the pandemic got here in early April of this year, when the nation was averaging greater than 3,000 instances per day; intensive care admissions reached their peak about two weeks later. On a per-capita foundation, Greece’s expertise pales in comparison to the worst moments of the pandemic in the United States, Britain, France or Italy, however as a result of Greece’s medical system has suffered from years of underfunding, it’s significantly susceptible to pressure. The nation’s intensive care items have been 87 p.c full as of April 21, at the same time as lockdown measures have been due to be peeled away.
At the similar time, vaccination is choosing up. Just over 20 percent of the nation’s inhabitants had acquired not less than one dose of vaccine by the finish of April. The protection is far increased in a few of the Greek islands, which were targeted early in the nation’s vaccination marketing campaign partly due to their geographical isolation and restricted medical amenities. But native leaders additionally hope that the picture of closely vaccinated, “Covid-free islands” will assist to lure vacationers again.
“It’s a very important step that guarantees the launch of the tourist season and sends a message of optimism,” Efi Liarou, the mayor of the island Elafonisos, told Agence-France Presse final month.
However many individuals find yourself touring to Greece this summer season, it’s clear that this year’s peak vacationer season might be in contrast to another.