March 19, 2020

The Hellenic Government decided on 15 March:

  • Interruption of passenger sea transport to and from Italy. The transport of goods and freights continues.
  • Ban on cruise liners and sailboats calls in the Greek ports.

All Greek ferry operators that serve the Patras-Ancona and Bari runs announced a conversion-cancellation of tickets on the Adriatic Sea due to the Corona Virus. This policy will be valid until April 3, 2020 and will apply for tickets that have a travel date up to April 30. This policy will be revised if necessary.

Α legislative initiative –with immediate appliance- is expected by the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping which will contain measures that will tackle with the problems encountered mainly in Hellenic Coastal Shipping, in order to maintain the necessary connection of the islands with the inland country as well as the smooth operation of ships flying the Greek flag. Among the measures that are examined are:

  • Allow only permanent island residents to travel
  • Citizens who are not permanent island residents, must prove their necessity to travel to the islands
  • The obligation of passengers to notify -with an official statement- if they come from abroad and from which country.
  • Decontamination of all the ferries’ public areas/spaces on regular basis
  • Maintain the ferry lines given the reduced passenger traffic. The state consider even to subsidy the ferry operators because of the emergency situation
  • Revision of the current sea transport network if it becomes necessary
  • The Hellenic Ministry of Shipping estimates that the crisis is severe and some shipping companies may face a sustainability problem.

It should be noted that according to Michalis Sakellis, president of the Association of Passenger Maritime Enterprises, passenger traffic in the upcoming summer season in Greece is expected to be worse than the winter season which is 20% lower than last year.