ΈThe destination of high security, at European level, for foreign visitors is the Crete, prepared for a tourist season different from the others. It will not discount the quality of hospitality services and will also provide maximum health services to tourists who come for holidays.
Hospitals, primary health care, floating and aerial means will be on constant alert to address what is needed, while hotels are in the training phase for the implementation of the announced health protocols.
The commander of the 7th Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Crete, Lena Borboudaki, spoke to "P" for the infrastructure, the staff and the overall preparation of the island for to welcome in a few weeks its first visitors from abroad.
Destination with high accessibility to health structures
According to the commander, today in Crete there are 13 ICU beds available for the treatment of coronary events, which in a few hours can be increased to about 50, while when the new equipment (respirators, etc.) is received in the next period, it is possible to over 60 intensive beds for Covid-19 are developed.
"Throughout Crete there is the appropriate planning, so that with the appropriate equipment, multiple ICUs can be opened if necessary ", said Ms. Borboudaki.
She noted that in all hospitals in Crete there are beds available for patients with Covid-19. Today there are 155, and they can be developed in a few hours to 328.
Specifically, PAGNI now has 21 beds that can reach 70, Venizelio 33 and can open 68, Rethymno 10 and can operate 20, Chania 34 and can reach 70, Agios Nikolaos 8 that can become 26, Ierapetra 9 that can reach 25, Naples has 25 beds and Sitia 5 Covid beds that can be increased to 24.
Reinforced in staff
The positions of 82 forwards have been approved in the hospitals of Crete, of which 45 have already taken office, while the positions of 10 forwards who will staff primary health units have also been approved.
In addition, 626 nursing and other staff positions have been approved, of which about 400 are for nurses.
Almost 2/3 of all these employees are already in office.
Floating and aerial means
According to Ms. Borboudaki, in addition to the hospitals and primary health care, there is a complete network of coverage and cooperation with EKAB and if necessary, support and ambulances will be used.
In cooperation with the Coast Guard, vessels will be on standby, but airlifts will also be carried out, if necessary, except Crete, with the special EKAB capsules used for transporting patients with infectious diseases.
Regarding the health protocols of hotels and their implementation, she stressed that the DYPE of Crete has informed the tourism agencies that it is at their disposal for whatever is needed.
When asked about quarantine hotels, he said that the issue is being discussed by the relevant ministries and EODY and the relevant decision is expected.
"We have succeeded," said Ms. Borboudaki, "to make Crete one of the safest European destinations in the midst of a pandemic." It is now equally important, in addition to the security that the visitor must feel, to continue the high level of hospitality services, even if one needs to stay in a hotel quarantine.
For example, a visitor staying in a five-star unit must receive similar services even if he or she is ill because it is supportive of his or her psychology, and this generally enhances the credibility of the tourist destination.
"With proper management of the pandemic and proper management of tourist hospitality (as in the time of the corona things are interconnected) we are properly strengthening the domestic economy and investing in tourism tomorrow coming out strengthened and won by this difficult time," concluded Ms. Borboudaki.
POX President Grigoris Tassios: "We are trained for protocols"
"The health protocols of hotels are, I would say, realistic. There are questions from everyone regarding their implementation, because it is something new for them, hoteliers, but we are starting the training and preparation for their implementation ".
This was said yesterday in "P" by the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers, Grigoris Tassios, commenting that there is time to prepare entrepreneurs.
"Many consider it difficult to implement them, I think they are passable," said Mr. Tassios, stressing that his anxiety is not focused on protocols but on tourists who will be able to travel to Greece, as the landscape has not yet been clarified.
"It is a given that Greece is in demand as a destination, because it has managed the pandemic well and this is something that we receive from the tour operators.
But we still have a long way to go. Let's implement the protocols as best we can and move forward step by step with optimism, hoping for the best, "said the POX president.
G.G. Hotel Association of Heraklion Al. Angelopoulos: "Protocols need time and money"
"Health protocols are more a matter of time and cost, I hope colleagues will keep them to the maximum," the secretary general told "P". of the Union of Hotels of Heraklion, Alexandros Angelopoulos.
However, he believes that visitors should be checked before traveling.
Mr. Angelopoulos noted:
"After the repeated leaks, the official hygiene and safety protocols for the operation of the hotels came out. The time left for their implementation cannot be described as sufficient, since there are many important things that need to be done. However, it is important that we have a direction to follow. All the hotels that are planning to open have already started the preparations, many of which involve significant costs.
For larger units, these protocols are understandable, and some are already part of their operating specifications. For others, in addition to the charge, they will also involve a change of culture, which will result from educational seminars, which also involve costs. It is therefore clear that the implementation of protocols is more a matter of time and cost than anything else.
However, he points out that the authorities have exhausted their strictness in hotels, and rightly so, these protocols are strict, but they show great relaxation in transport, which will be the main source of infection transmission, as many people will be gathered in a very small space. For better or worse, if we want to restart tourism, it would not be different, but I would expect them not to exhaust their rigor to the one who has the natural advantages to comply with health protocols and safety distances and will be called upon to provide Greek hospitality. to the best degree. I didn't see any fines in the air. "
"What worries me"The secretary general of the Union concluded by saying:
"So the points of concern are the training of staff, the supply of the necessary equipment in a low liquidity regime, the meticulousness required in the implementation and the keeping of a logbook for all protocols, but especially the unpredictable behavior of citizens in the eyes of foreign visitors and cases may occur.
Reference hotels for suspicious cases and the existence of a forr in hotels will be an insurance valve, but it will have a firefighting character.
Visitors should have been checked before traveling. Since this is not possible, I am sure that my colleagues will do their best to keep all the protocols. "
(original article - republished by)