Most Greeks — who’ve endured months of lockdown — would agree with that sentiment, stated Ms. Nakou, the analyst. “I feel there’s little various, to be sincere, given the significance of the sector within the economic system,” she stated.
However 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 holiday makers with a rise within the circulation of the virus. She famous that in a survey carried out amongst Greeks final fall, tourism was essentially the most generally cited think about inflicting the second wave, forward of individuals flouting lockdown guidelines, in addition to congestion in public transport or in eating places.
“I feel that’s in the back of lots of people’s minds regionally,” stated Ms. Nakou. “They’re happy to see the economic system reopening; they’re additionally fairly anxious about this.”
By way of every day new infections, Greece’s worst second of the pandemic got here in early April of this yr, 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 compared to the worst moments of the pandemic in the USA, Britain, France or Italy, however as a result of Greece’s medical system has suffered from years of underfunding, it’s notably susceptible to pressure. The nation’s intensive care models have been 87 p.c full as of April 21, at the same time as lockdown measures have been on account of be peeled away.
On the identical time, vaccination is selecting up. Simply over 20 p.c of the nation’s inhabitants had obtained a minimum of one dose of vaccine by the tip of April. The protection is far larger in a number of the Greek islands, which have been focused early within the nation’s vaccination marketing campaign partly due to their geographical isolation and restricted medical amenities. However native leaders additionally hope that the picture of closely vaccinated, “Covid-free islands” will assist to lure vacationers again.
“It’s an important step that ensures the launch of the vacationer season and sends a message of optimism,” Efi Liarou, the mayor of the island Elafonisos, instructed Agence-France Presse final month.
Nonetheless many individuals find yourself touring to Greece this summer season, it’s clear that this yr’s peak vacationer season shall be in contrast to another.