The first case of the new Covid-19 coronavirus in Greece was diagnosed on February 26, 2020, on a 38-year-old woman from the country’s second city, Thessaloniki, who had arrived from northern Italy. After the first three cases, confirmed on February 27, Greece cancelled public events, and just over one week later, now with 89 cases, it closed all schools, restaurants, cafés, bars, shops, shopping malls, churches, and museums. All non-essential movement was restricted on March 22nd. Most hotels were ordered closed until April 30. These measures were among the strictest in Europe, and have slowed the spread of the virus. As a result, the country has one of the lowest numbers of deaths in Europe.
Restaurants and cafés with outdoor seating, bars, shops, shopping malls, hotels, museums, archaeological sites, and most of the beaches reopened in June. The tourist season officially started on June 15 and international flights resumed gradually from July 1st.
Number of Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases in Mykonos and the Greek Islands
As of late December, less than 4000 people have died from Covid-19 in Greece, out of close to 130,000 confirmed cases. Most of the confirmed cases are in the Attica region, which includes Athens. In the South Aegean region, which includes Mykonos and many of the other popular Greek islands (Santorini, Andros, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kea, Kos, Kythnos, Milos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Syros, and Tinos), there have only been less than 500 reported cases (how many of those were in Mykonos hasn’t been announced, but there was at least one reported case). Access to the islands was restricted to permanent residents, so that explains the low number.
Travel Restrictions in Greece
The first travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic in Greece happened on March 9, when flights to and from northern Italy were suspended. On March 14, all travel to and from Italy was suspended. On March 16, Greece closed its borders with Albania and North Macedonia, suspended flights from/to Spain, and announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country. Two days later, all European Union countries closed their borders to non-EU nationals. Until May 15, commercial flights to and from Italy, Spain, Turkey, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany were suspended. All non-EU citizens could not enter Greece until May 18 (exceptions included spouses and minor children of EU nationals and members of government delegations). Beginning June 15, residents of 29 countries were allowed to enter Greece (Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland) but were subject to Covid-19 testing and quarantine, depending on the country. Until July 1st, international flights landed only in Athens.
Throughout the month of July, the European Union gradually lifted travel restrictions on a number of countries. There is a temporary ban on travelers from the United States, but those from Canada, Australia and New Zealand may already travel to the EU and, of course, Greece.
Is it Safe to Travel to Mykonos, Greece?
As the world is only beginning to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the risk for travelers is still moderate. As you would at home, regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and cover your mouth and nose with your elbow (not with your hands) or with a tissue, when you cough or sneeze. Keep a safe distance (6 feet or about 2 meters) from other people. If you develop a fever and/or respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath), postpone your trip, stay indoors, and immediately seek medical assistance.
If you’re able to travel to Mykonos in 2021, it’s recommended that you keep a safe distance at the beaches, and always wear a mask in the center of the island, especially on the narrow streets of Chora, where the safe distance is not possible. In fact, a mask or facial cover is mandatory in supermarkets, all retail stores, all forms of public transportation, taxis, elevators, hospitals, banks, hair and beauty salons and other closed spaces. Those who fail to use a mask where it is required, may be fined 150 euros.
If you want or need to be tested for Covid-19, you may head to any major hospital in Greece or to Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (at the arrivals level, between entrances 2-3). You'll have to pay for the test yourself, which can cost around 100 or 120 euros. If you do develop symptoms while in Greece, you may contact the Covid-19 hotline at 1135, which will refer you to testing sites and medical care.
Keep checking this page for regular updates and advice on traveling to Mykonos and Greece.