On Monday, May 25, Greece restarted regular passenger ferry services to Greek islands. Bars and restaurants were also reopen as Greece accelerated efforts to save the tourism season.
Travel to the islands has been suspended since a lockdown late-March, with access allowed to only permanent residents and goods suppliers. Greece's low infection rate in the pandemic prompted the Government to start the summer season earlier than expected, on June 15. Other Mediterranean countries (including Turkey, Italy, Spain) are struggling with major outbreaks.
Passenger limits and distancing regulations were imposed on all ferries and at restaurants, while state-run health services are being expanded to the islands, with intensive care units being provided on 5 islands - Corfu, Lesbos, Rhodes, Samos and Zakynthos, along with existing facilities on Crete Island.
Tourism is a vital part of the economy of the country, with a direct cash contribution of over 10%. In 2019, 34+ million tourists visited Greece, spending ~EUR 18,2 billion (~USD 20 billion).