1 June 2020
Dear friends of Andros,
After many weeks of lockdown, Greece is starting to open up. From 15 June 2020, all tourist accommodation on Andros will be open and bookable again. For your safety, to minimise the risk of Corononvirus infection, the Greek government has introduced several strict accommodation hygiene measures that will be in place for the foreseeable future.
On the same date, flights will be running to both Athens and Thessaloniki airports, and from 1 July 2020 the other mainland and island airports will open.
Until July, Greece will be operating a two-tier system for assessing the health of people arriving in the country. From 15 June people arriving from airports classified by the EU’s aviation safety agency (EASA) as having a high risk of transmission of Covid-19 will be required to stay overnight in a designated hotel for testing. If the test is negative, the passenger is required to self-quarantines for seven days. If the test is positive, the passenger is quarantined under supervision for 14 days. Currently, 13 of the UK’s airports including Heathrow and Gatwick are on the EASA high-risk list. You can see the full list here https://www.easa.europa.eu/SD-2020-01/Airports. People travelling from all other airport will be tested randomly on entry.
Things are changing rapidly in this area, and the restrictions on entry are being reviewed every 15 days with the intention of relaxing rules if coronavirus infections reduce. It is expected that the two-tier system will end in July and all passengers will be subject to random testing with no requirement to quarantine if the test is negative.
The ferries between the mainland and Andros are running, although currently at 50% capacity to allow social distancing. So if you are planning a trip this summer, we recommend booking your ferry tickets in advance. We are hoping that things will slowly return to normal by the time the hiking season starts in September. We are expecting this year to be much quieter, with fewer visitors, so you certainly won’t have a problem keeping a one and a half meter distance on this tranquil island.
Please take care and stay safe,
Best wishes from the volunteers of Andros Routes.