Home / Destinations / How safe is it to visit stunning Mykonos currently?

How safe is it to visit stunning Mykonos currently?

If you are contemplating an overseas trip, Greece is one of the few countries that does not require you to quarantine automatically on arrival or upon your return. It has also been removed from the ‘essential travel only list’ so insurance should not be an issue. But perhaps you wonder whether it is still wise to travel, particularly when countries recently placed on the travel corridors list have equally quickly been removed. Well let me take you on a journey so you can decide whether it is safe to visit stunning Mykonos mid pandemic.

windmills of Mykonos
Glorious views of the Mykonos windmills

Mykonos is renowned for its idyllic old town scenes, hordes of cruise ship tourists, wild nightlife and LGBT scene. Maybe not a great combination for safe travel during a pandemic?

Entering Mykonos

The latest entry requirements for Greece can be found on the Foreign Office website. At the time of writing, you need to complete a Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours in advance of departure.

Within 24 hours of departure you receive a QR code which authorities scan on arrival. This code dictates whether you enter unimpeded or whether you must submit to a free Covid test and 24-hour self-isolation. Thankfully, we had no issues and clearly no one on our flight did as we never heard anything further from the immigration officials.

Arriving into Mykonos
Arriving at Mykonos airport during a pandemic

Note, entry requirements can change with little notice. Last week, the Greek authorities imposed additional requirements on citizens of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. From the 17th August, travellers from these countries must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test on arrival. The test result must be from within the 72 hours prior to entry.

This gives me some confidence that Greek authorities are taking the pandemic seriously.

Face masks and social distancing

So, Mykonos is renowned as a hip destination for the young crowd. There are definitely plenty of backpackers and twenty somethings. But there are equally as many older, more wizened types. Unfortunately, both have something in common. They make little attempt to social distance. Even the bar staff pay lip service to protection. They may wear a face mask, but these seem to serve as sunscreen for their chins rather than achieving any safety benefit. Even when people wear masks, they often do not cover fully their mouth and nose. This issue is not a problem unique to Mykonos of course.

What can you do to protect yourself?

My advice is to avoid the old town except early in the morning and in the early evening. It is much quieter at 5.30PM than it is at 6.30PM. Alternatively, you can opt to wear a face mask at all times in the old town as the streets are narrow and social distancing is a challenge.

Horizon Boutique hotel, Agios Ioannis
The private infinity pool in our room at the Horizon Boutique hotel, Agios Ioannis

I also recommend selecting either private accommodation or an hotel with private plunge pools. We opted for the latter at the Horizon Boutique hotel. This meant that we did not come into contact with other guests at all until our last day. Only on our last day did we laze around the newly opened communal pool and sun beds were positioned at appropriate social distances.

Mykonos complacency

It seems the lack of cases in Greece has contributed to massive complacency. This is a sentiment that our waiter echoes on our last night. Cases in the last two weeks have increased exponentially. On the 15th July when Greece opened its borders to UK travellers, it had recorded just 3,910 cases. One month later, on the 16th August, that number had risen to 7,075. The infection rate is creeping ever closer to the infection rate threshold of 20 per 100,000 of population (based on weekly data).

Street sign in Mykonos
This street sign in Mykonos seems to sum up the attitude on the island

Shopping

Each store has signs to indicate that face masks are mandatory. Most customers abide by these rules but a handful do not. The only time I saw anyone reprimanded for failing to wear a mask was when I went to the pharmacy and made the rookie mistake of forgetting mine. I was denied service until I bought a mask or came back with appropriate face wear!

Of course, this is the same at home so I do not believe this necessarily puts you at greater risk in Greece than you would be in the UK.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Simple. Do not forget your face mask!

Other restrictions

Unlike the UK, where restrictions have been placed on the number of diners in an establishment, I could see no evidence of this in Greece. Each establishment has implemented floor markings but few people pay heed to them.

Just a few days ago however, a curfew was introduced on Mykonos. The curfew forces bars to close between midnight and 7am. In response to the curfew, reports of entrepreneurial individuals throwing exclusive and expensive house parties are rampant. The recent spike in cases has allegedly emanated from such parties so it pays to avoid these at all cost.

Bars of Mykonos Old town
Bars in Mykonos old town

What can you do to protect yourself?

Behave responsibly. Avoid bars and restaurants which have no regard for social distancing or protective measures. The Alemagou bar in the North of the island is one establishment you should avoid. The bar was shut down in June for 60 days due to flouting the regulations. It has since been forced to close again due to positive Covid tests for seven members of staff. This establishment does not appear to take your safety seriously.

How does this compare?

Now this post may suggest that Mykonos is disease ridden and downright dangerous when clearly that is not the case. Many of the issues regarding social distancing, non use of face masks and groups congregating are issues common in the UK too. However cases of Covid are rising rapidly in Greece, so it makes sense to follow all precautions. When compared to the UK, Greece has still got a much better record however as the following table shows (Source: Euronews).

Country Number of cases Number of deaths Deaths per million
Greece 7,222 230 22
United Kingdom 319,197 41,369 609

I don’t believe travel to Greece is therefore more dangerous than being in the UK if you take sensible precautions. If you wear face masks in congested areas, avoid large gatherings and busier establishments, it is probably safer! Mykonos town is also incredibly beautiful and now could be one of the best times to see it without the cruise ship crowds.

Paraportiani Orthodox Church, Mykonos
Paraportiani Orthodox Church

What do you think?

Perhaps you have been to Mykonos, or indeed other Greek destinations since the borders opened. How was your experience?

This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a small commission should you click on them and make a purchase. These help towards the cost of running the site, and the occasional glass of wine, but you are under no obligation to use them.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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