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How to Have Fun on Greek Beaches With COVID-19 Restrictions

Αssociated Press

An employee disinfects sunbeds against coronavirus, at Alimos beach, near Athens, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Greece allowed the reopening of organized beaches, where visitors pay to get in, from Saturday when a heat wave is expected to hit the country, a measure that would affect 515 beaches all over Greece, where shade umbrellas must be planted at least 4 meters (13 feet) apart, and a maximum 40 people will be allowed in every 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet) of beach. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS - No music. No bar crowds. No booze. No volleyball.

Those are some of the rules that Greece is requiring at organized beaches allowed to reopen with the gradual lifting of a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

While desperately wanting tourists to help bring back an economy essentially also closed just as the New Democracy government was spurring a faster recovery, the government said people can forget about usual practices on beaches.

That could prove difficult to enforce as it shuts down the fun for people, especially on popular island beaches on Mykonos where the young like to party hardy and dance on tabletops and mingle, so to speak.

The ministries of Interior, Citizens’ Protection, Labor and Development issued a series of guidelines it said will still allow people to enjoy beaches without jeopardizing the health of staff and customers alike.

The new rules allow beach bars to serve beverages like coffee and fresh fruit juice, as well as packaged food at the counter to-go and at customers’ umbrellas but ban music and customers from gathering at the bar.

Also prohibited are organized events like parties, as well as group sports such as beach volleyball or soccer, reported Kathimerini, which said the rules also mean that beach clubs can only host 40 customers per 1,000 square meters (10,746 square feet) and must maintain a distance of at least 4 meters (13.12 feet) between sun umbrellas.

Violations of these rules carry a fine of between 5,000-25,000 euros ($5605-$28,026) as well as the threat of closure for 15-20 days although shutting down establishments has been rare even for major tax violations with islands and the government now needing tourist revenues more than ever for this year.