ATHENS — Less than an hour from Greece’s coast and visited mostly by European tourists, not so many Americans, the island of Tzia – generally known as Kea – is seeing vaccinations speeding in a bid to become an oasis free of COVID-19.
That’s also to get those tourists to come when Greece reopens on May 15 to those with proof of vaccinations or a negative Coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival to avoid a mandatory quarantine.
In a report on Tzia, FRANCE 24 noted the eagerness to welcome people again on an island where beaches are uncrowded, life is laid back and slow and you can decompress, not party like on Mykonos or face Santorini-size crowds.
Katerina Marouli, an owner of rental villas, expressed her happiness that things were returning to normal: “The bookings have started, after all these quiet months. I can’t wait to see people,” she told the news site.
Kea’s economy is “relying more and more” on tourism, said Lefteris, an employee in the sector. In light of this, “We have to be a COVID-free island,” he said, which is the New Democracy government’s plan for smaller islands.
Residents of tiny islands are being fully vaccinated in a bid to create oases where there aren’t cases of the Coronavirus as part of a hop-scotch plan to leap from island to island to make them COVID-19-free.
That’s mostly in the Aegean while Tzia is one of the first in the Cyclades chain, a popular weekend spot for Greeks too given how close it is to the mainland but offering serenity and getaways.