Most Greeks — who’ve endured months of lockdown — would agree with that sentiment, mentioned Ms. Nakou, the analyst. “I feel there’s little various, to be sincere, given the significance of the sector within the financial system,” she mentioned.
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 tourists 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 consider 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,” mentioned Ms. Nakou. “They’re happy to see the financial system reopening; they’re additionally fairly apprehensive 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 US, Britain, France or Italy, however as a result of Greece’s medical system has suffered from years of underfunding, it’s notably weak 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 attributable to be peeled away.
On the similar time, vaccination is choosing up. Simply over 20 p.c of the nation’s inhabitants had obtained not less than one dose of vaccine by the tip of April. The protection is way increased 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 might be in contrast to every other.