The rules of the new lockdown may have not forced hotel and ferry companies to cease their operations, but its cost this month will be so heavy that many businesses in these sectors are reducing or halting their activity on their own initiative.
Very few hotels are expected to remain open in the capital as well as the rest of Greece, as large units in the center of Athens with hundreds of rooms apiece are report thating their operation is pointless, as their occupancy does not exceed 10 to 20 guests at any one time.
After all, most hotels that under normal conditions operate year-round have long decided to shut down for the winter, while only three in every five opened this summer anyway.
Kathimerini understands that two emblematic Athens hotels are about to shut most of their floors and keep just a few rooms open on one or two floors, just in order to keep operating in the face of the raging pandemic. “It is only patriotic reasons that would justify this symbolic operation,” says one leading hotel businessman.
The major coastal shipping companies will do everything required to ensure links between the islands and mainland Greece and the smooth operation of the market, such as exports of island products. However, it is taken for granted that services will be reduced and vessels will be withdrawn, as the government restrictions will diminish the demand for cargo transport anyway.
Service cuts and ferry withdrawals will be more drastic in terms of connections in the Aegean, and to a lesser extent those of Crete and the Adriatic which serve a greater transport work, say leading figures from ferry companies. They add that the Saronic Gulf will also see a major decline in ferry activity.
The same sources tell Kathimerini that the sector has suffered considerably and the support it has received only covers a part of the operating losses it has suffered and will now incur again.
As a coastal shipping company official aptly pointed out, “we only carried seagulls last spring, and we will only carry seagulls this winter too.”