A lone tourist was among the first to enter the archaeological site on the Acropolis on Monday, as authorities opened up more than 200 archaeological sites in Greece which had remained closed for almost two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, accompanied by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, climbed up the hill several hours later. Her presence sent a powerful message that the country’s tourism sector is gradually returning to normalcy.
Final preparations for the reopening were completed early on Monday. As required, the visitors were keeping appropriate social distance from one another.
Tourists snap The Caryatids at the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. Photo by Greek Reporter
Archeological sites are the first category of cultural sites in Greece to return to normal operations, followed by open-air summer cinemas on June 1, museums on June 15 and art events on July 15, as Culture Minister Lina Mendoni has announced.
They will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and follow all the necessary safety measures, according to the instructions of the National Public Health Organization (EODY).
These include keeping the distance of 1.5 meters between visitors, ensuring the maximum number of visitors per each archeological site, marking safe routes, separating entries and exits while putting in place plexiglas divider panels where needed.
There will also be special rules for all restroom facilities at these sites. The use of a protective mask is also recommended as well as alcohol-based antiseptic gels for disinfecting the hands.