Greece has already opened to more than a dozen countries and is on track to open up to the world on May 15. As part of that preparation, they are releasing updated health protocols to deal with the coronavirus situation and the recent update deals with hotels.
Hotel Protocols for Greece – What You Should Expect
Note that these new health protocols are in place until May 22, 2022.
While many of the health protocols that will be required at hotels in Greece will be behind the scenes, there are still some things that travelers and guests of the hotels should expect for their visit. If you book with a hotel, you will likely receive a welcome e-mail of some sort that will lay out the things you will have to expect but this gives you a look ahead of time.
For hotels with 50 or more rooms, they must have an action plan and separate protocols for each part of the hotel. All employees must be trained as to what these are and how to implement them. These hotels also need to have a doctor on call for the purpose of any potential Covid tests that need to be conducted. Furthermore, hotel staff will be rapid tested once per week.
All guests staying at hotels will need to have their information logged in case of any case that develops during a stay or after someone leaves. This means names, nationality, contract details and IDs. So, be prepared to provide all of this and if you were planning on booking a room that says limit is 2 people and you will have 4, you will likely not be able to get away without paying for a higher capacity room. European hotels are pretty strict about this anyway but now you have to have each guest be logged so be aware of this.
In all common areas, there will be specific health protocols in place and you will find notices about that in those areas. These may have to do with capacity limits or separation or the use of things like sports equipment and sanitation.
You will also need to avoid handshakes and such (which is a big deal in Greece where a customary greeting is the cheek kiss so shaking hands is a second-tier to that and you cannot even do that!).
An important note for people that need a test for returning to their home country is that hotels do have the option of offering a rapid test to their guests for the day they are checking out. If this is something that interest you, you may want to check with your hotel of choice to see if they will offer this.
A big letdown for many travelers last year had to do with the buffets, specifically the breakfast buffets for which Greek hotels are so well known. They were not self serve last year as they normally are.
This year, the self serve buffets do get to return but with some new protocols in place. Each guest must use the available hand sanitizer before starting through the buffet and there will be a staff member present to ensure this rule is followed. Guests are also required to maintain social distancing while at the buffet.
The buffet stations themselves will have sneeze guards in place. Hotels can also provide guests with disposable gloves that will be used during the food service before disposing of them at the end of the buffet line.
But, this is all small stuff in exchange for getting the fantastic Greek buffets back!
If you are staying at a larger hotel in Greece this year, you may find things different from the last time you were there. This could be something that may cause travelers to seek out small boutique hotels instead for a more intimate guest experience. But, if you do go to a larger hotel, at least you know that Greece is watching over the hotel industry to make sure that all steps and measures are taken to provide a healthy experience for your stay in Greece.