Information about the coronavirus COVID-19 ++ Update 28.11.2020
On this page you will find continuously updated information on the coronavirus crisis in relation to your holiday trip to Crete. Our team is monitoring the situation closely. Please stay healthy and do not forget the most important hygiene rules according to WHO!
What is the current situation in Crete with regard to the coronavirus crisis?
The Corissia Hotels in Crete resumed their regular operations on 1 July 2020 and to this day ensure that all holiday guests enjoy a completely undisturbed holiday.
Crete remains one of the safest places in Europe with regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Combined indicator: 14-day notification rate, testing rate and test positivity, updated 29 October 2020.
Corissia Hotels in Crete consistently apply increased hygiene measures and inconspicuous procedures to prevent infections according to predefined protocols. The aim is to ensure the best possible level of precaution and prevention, in the interests of the safety and health of the holiday guests and staff, but without restricting or clouding the holiday experience of the guest. This objective has been fully achieved for the 2020 summer season: with more than 40,000 overnight stays, not a single COVID-19 case was registered in our hotels from the beginning of July to the end of October! Now, we carry on with our new Chania Flair Boutique Hotel, which will remain open for our guests all year round (including autumn and winter), and look forward with optimism to the coming summer season 2021.
The public life of Crete was, after governmental orders to slow down the spread of coronavirus, as in the whole of Greece, significantly restricted until mid-May 2020: Most shops, but also schools, universities and public institutions were closed, and the population was only allowed to leave their homes if there were good reasons. This led to comparatively astonishing results throughout Greece: since the beginning of the crisis, 176 people have died of COVID-19 throughout Greece till the end of June 2020. In Crete, a total of 17 people had only mild symptoms, for several weeks until the end of June 2020 no new COVID-19 cases were registered on the island.
Subsequently, the strict measures were largely withdrawn: all shops and public facilities are now open again, subject to increased hygienic measures. Restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open until 24:00. There is no general mask obligation (exception: hospitals and similar institutions as well as in closed interiors). People are still attentive and pay attention to social distancing, but public life has become much more active. All state hospitals, private clinics and the university hospital in Heraklion are on heightened alert. The movement of goods is not limited, and food supplies are easy.
Since 1 July 2020 most hotels in Crete have reopened. The international air traffic to Crete is allowed again and takes place without problems. The holiday guests have arrived and are enjoying a completely relaxed situation on Crete: great weather, absolutely not overcrowded sandy beaches as well as relaxed, friendly people who inconspicuously pay attention to the increased hygiene measures. It is very remarkable that since the beginning of the pandemic only about 110 cases of coronavirus have been registered in Crete, most of them with no or only very mild symptoms.
Our holiday guests are saying:
"Despite Corona a safe and relaxing holiday (the employees on site have strictly respected the corona regulations without restricting the holidaymakers). We will come back and say thank you!!!"
Angelina (19-25) - traveled as family in July 2020 for 2 weeks - Review on HolidayCheck (translated from German)
"Dream vacation without mask with friendly people"
Wolfgang (71+) - traveled as a couple in July 2020 for 3 weeks - Review on HolidayCheck (translated from German)
"Despite exceptional situation a relaxed holiday! We were warmly welcomed and immediately felt at home. The appropriate hygiene measures were applied and we did not feel uncomfortable for a moment."
Laura (26-30) - traveled as a couple in July 2020 for 1 week - Review on HolidayCheck (translated from German)
From mid-August 2020 onwards, increased cases of coronavirus are recorded throughout Greece, compared to the time before the relaunch of tourism, especially in the large cities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, despite the extensive COVID19 testing, a few hundrend coronavirus cases have been registered on the island of Crete in total (out of a population of 650,000 plus holidaymakers), most of them with no or very mild symptoms.
In the last few days, about 2 to 5 coronapositive cases per day have been registered in Chania and in Heraklion Crete. In order to protect public health, the following measures have been temporarily adopted by the Greek Government for the Prefecture of Chania and Heraklion:
- Events of any kind are not allowed.
- No gatherings, private or public, of more than 9 people are allowed.
- In restaurants and bars, up to 4 persons per table are allowed (for 1st degree family members up to 6 persons).
- It is necessary to wear a protective mask both indoors and outdoors. This of course does not apply in the restaurant, when using the pool, when swimming in the sea or outside if a minimum distance of 1.5 - 2m can be maintained.
The Greek government has had a very cautious approach to the corona virus pandemic from the beginning. Although new infections in the region are currently very low (approx. 2 - 5 / day), they are higher than in the previous period (approx. 0 - 1 / day). The current, temporary measures are intended to prevent a further increase or reduce the number of new infections. In this context, the above mentioned temporary restrictions for the region of Chania should also be seen as a cautious preventive measure and not as a reaction to an alleged 'uncontrolled' increase of COVID-19 cases.
What are the current entry requirements for Greece?
Current entry requirements to Greece
All travellers to Greece are required to complete online a so-called Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before entry, providing detailed information about their point of departure, the length of previous stays in other countries and the address of their stay in Greece. After successfully filling out the above form, you will first receive a confirmation e-mail about the receipt of the form and then a QR code, which you must show upon arrival at the airport terminal. The QR code is sent the day (sometimes only a few hours) before the planned trip to the specified e-mail. Depending on the QR code, the screening staff at the airport will direct passengers either to the screening area where a SARS-CoV-2 test is carried out or to the exit (baggage claim area or passport control). All passengers are requested to comply with all necessary preventive hygiene measures (use of masks and physical distance) at the airport terminal.
After receiving the QR code, please either store it digitally in your mobile phone or print it out on paper. Upon arrival at the airport terminal, you will be asked to present the QR code so that it can be scanned. If no QR code is sent for technical reasons or if you are already on the trip before receiving the QR code, you can simply show the confirmation mail. In this case the confirmation mail is sufficient according to official information.
Will my holiday in Crete or my hotel stay in Corissia be affected by the measures taken to slow down the spread of coronavirus? What do I have to consider?
First we would like to clear up some rumours: on Crete there is no generalised COVID-19 testing either on arrival or departure, no general mask requirement, no beach boxes and no buffet bans from 1st July 2020. The hotels will not be converted into clinics, instead increased hygiene measures and inconspicuous procedures will be used to prevent infections according to predefined protocols. The aim is to ensure the best possible level of precaution and prevention, in the interests of the safety and health of the holiday guests and staff, but without restricting or clouding the holiday experience of the guest.
We would like to briefly outline the most important aspects of these procedures in the following. They are based on epidemiological findings to minimize the droplet concentration and the virus load, to which the very low COVID-19 case numbers in Greece to date are very likely attributable: distance - hygiene / disinfection - fresh air.
- The rules of social distancing still apply, a distance of 1.5m - 2m between people should be maintained (not between couples or members of a family). Accordingly, we increase the distance of the furniture in all public areas (tables in the restaurant, parasols and deck chairs on the beach etc.) and ask you to keep the minimum distance also on other occasions. The Corissia Hotels consist of several spatially separate houses, each with 3 to a maximum of 70 rooms per building, mostly in an open building style. Our restaurants are open and offer sufficient space for our guests, so that good ventilation is always guaranteed and a minimum distance of 2 metres between guests can be maintained without any difficulty. The beach and the pools may of course be used, but care must be taken to keep the minimum distance. In Corissia there are, as before, enough sunbathing areas, so that the annoying 'pre-booking' of sunbeds is not necessary.
- The most important hygiene rules according to WHO continue to apply. We are significantly increasing our hygiene measures: Dispensers for hand disinfectants in all public areas, intensive cleaning and disinfection of hotel rooms and public contact surfaces (door handles, elevator call buttons, tables, chairs, deck chairs etc.), regular ventilation etc.. According to the regulation, there is no obligation for guests or staff to wear masks, only our staff working in the catering facilities and cleaning must wear masks and disposable gloves for protection.
- The buffet and a-la-carte restaurants will be available with improved hygiene measures, and meal times will be adjusted to avoid possible crowding. The kitchen and restaurant staff will use masks and disposable gloves for protection. Before using the buffet, guests are asked to disinfect their hands with disinfectants provided and to maintain a corresponding minimum distance from the next guest. Guests can serve themselves on buffet items that are provided as portions. The rest of the dishes will be placed on the guest's plate by our staff, who will be standing directly at the buffet, so that the direct contact of the guests with the serving cutlery is avoided. All public areas including the dining rooms are open, so that good ventilation with fresh sea air is always guaranteed and high aerosol concentrations, as they occur in closed rooms, can be avoided.
- In case of illness, the Corissia Hotels have made all necessary preparations to ensure that appropriate medical care can be provided quickly (doctor on site, possibilities for SARS-CoV-2 testing, coordination by private clinic in Chania / university hospital in Heraklion etc.).
- Intensive training programmes for all hotel staff by certified experts are already underway. Our hotels meet the criteria of the official health protocols as published by the Greek government and have already received the appropriate certification.
We take care of our guests.
Free rebooking and cancellation options until the start of the trip in case of a direct booking.
Our regular cancellation terms for direct bookings are as follows:
"In case of cancellation, there are no fees for you at all, as long as the cancellation is made at least 15 days before your arrival. If the cancellation is made in the last 2 weeks before arrival, a fee in the amount of the deposit is due. This fee does not apply in case of acute illness before the planned trip: a medical certificate with previously confirmed flight booking is sufficient."
This means that if your trip is prevented either by a direct infection or by quarantine measures ordered by the government due to the coronavirus, you do not bear any risk if you book directly in Corissia, even if the cancellation is made shortly before your arrival. There are no cancellation fees for your hotel booking and we will refund the deposit in full. To avoid possible misuse, we only ask for a previously confirmed flight booking at the planned travel time.
Furthermore we offer free rebooking options. This means that you can change your booking date at any time without additional charges, subject to availability. For the calculation of the new hotel price, the offers valid on the rebooking date will be applied.
Therefore you do not need a travel cancellation insurance for your hotel booking directly with us.
The most important hygiene rules according to WHO
1 It is best to turn away if you have to cough or sneeze. There should be at least one meter distance between you and other people.
2 Please use a tissue only once. Then dispose of it in a bin with a lid.
3 When coughing or sneezing, keep the crook of your arm in front of your mouth and nose when no tissue is available.
4 After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, wash your hands thoroughly, either with alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water.
Especially in times of crisis we should stick together
Our company has a strong operating concept, a solid balance sheet and liquidity that will enable us to survive this crisis. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation and support our guests, partners and employees during this difficult time. Our thoughts remain with the people affected by this outbreak.
We would like to thank our guests for the trust they have placed in us! Until the middle / end of June 2020, i.e. in the period when all Greek hotels have to remain closed according to government regulations, only 32% of the guests who booked directly with us have so far cancelled free of charge. 68% of the direct bookings for April / May / June have made use of our offer to rebook their holiday to a later date free of charge and without extra expenses!
Stay healthy. See you soon.
The medical staff, doctors, nurses, laboratory assistants, as well as all those who work in the hospitals and clinics and are courageously in the front line in the fight against the pandemic deserve not only our greatest respect but also our active support. Clinic Tsepeti in Chania Crete, with the financial support of Corissia Hotels, will receive 2 new ventilators and special protective clothing (masks, gowns etc.) to prepare for the emergency, which hopefully will not occur. Please help to maintain our liquidity in this difficult time by not cancelling your booking out of fear and uncertainty. A free cancellation due to the coronavirus crisis is possible with us at any time up to the day before your planned arrival. Thank you for your understanding!
We would like to emphasize once again: not only for direct bookings but also for package tours via tour operators, Corissia Hotels do not charge a cancellation fee to the guest or the operator in the context of the current coronavirus crisis. All guests who have booked a package tour should contact their travel agent or tour operator directly. Neither cancellations nor rebookings are possible directly for package tours with us.
The tourism industry has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of tourism companies, travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, airlines, transfer companies, etc. are facing liquidity problems and have well-founded existential fears, and countless employees fear for their jobs. Especially in times of crisis, everyone in the tourism industry should stick together: Corissia Hotels provided travel agents with 10,000 overnight stays including half board and airport transfers on Crete free of charge.