Mykonos, the best known party island, white houses, blue shutters and scarlet bougainvillea all glimmer in the sun. Two weeks after the country’s official tourist season was declared open, everything is quiet except for the work of bringing the place back to life.
Work crews paint luxury shops in the maze-like lanes of the main town, where social distance is easier said than done during the busy summer months. If everything goes according to plan, they’ll soon be the backdrop for thousands of Instagram selfies again.
The speakers that regularly hammer out basslines and beats at beach bars across the island are silent, with the only sound coming from the water. Despite the relaxation of rules to allow the use of outside areas, music is still not permitted at venues.
“We receive a lot of questions, though not all translate to bookings yet,” he says. “The two main questions are if we are all vaccinated and whether guests can really party in the island like they used to. We tell them that we expect that by the 1st of July things will be very close to how they used to be before Covid.”
Iraklis Zisimopoulos, the CEO of Semeli Hospitality Group stated the vaccine “that’s the magic recipe” to party like before.
Regardless of how friendly a country’s policies are, worldwide re-opening plans are always likely to change. New variants are a continuing concern. A handful of countries continue to impose travel restrictions on its nationals. After returning home, travellers may be required to still quarantine even if vaccinated.
The first mega-yachts have begun to arrive in Mykonos this summer. Champagne is already flowing at the stylish Alemagou Beach Bar and Restaurant, and a German bachelorette party is in full swing. A guest from Hamburg in a flowery dress says she and her childhood pals are “living the dream,” finally reunited, after months of lockdown.
“Last year, the regulations were in place… but we didn’t have the vaccines,” explains Vangelis Siafidas, co-owner of Alemagou. “We were among the first to open this year. We wanted to demonstrate to people that they can have a goodl time and a safe time. This is what encourages people to purchase tickets.”