When a country finally reopens for tourism, we like to think tourists are behaving responsibly and that it’s reasonably safe to visit. That unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the case on Santorini.
Crowds in popular tourist destinations like Santorini are always frustrating, but that’s especially true now that crowds can lead to a COVID-19 outbreak. In a video shared on Instagram, influencer Katie Gorgadze shows just how questionable the tourism situation is on Santorini at the moment, with throngs of maskless visitors clustering together around a viewpoint.
Although at first it appears Katie and her husband are alone at the viewpoint, the camera pans to reveal the dense crowds of people standing around the overlook, and definitely not wearing masks.
In the caption, Giordaze wrote, “We went to watch the famous Santorini sunset. This is the behind the scene that most of the influencers didn’t show you!”
Noting that the island’s tourism is still down 50 percent compared to its usual numbers, she told Insider, “I must say, I was very shocked by the number of people at the location. If it wasn’t busy for locals, I can hardly imagine how busy it was in previous years…Not a lot of travelers were wearing masks.”
Despite the crowds, Giordaze did claim to feel safe throughout her stay in Greece. “The staff everywhere always wore masks,” she said, “and took all the necessary precautions all the time.”
Greece opened its borders to European tourists on July 1 but announced new restrictions this week after a surge in COVID-19 cases. The new measures include a ban on restaurants and nightclubs from operating past midnight and a cap of 50 people at public gatherings.