A British national and his French wife have been stuck on the Greek island of Crete since late February after ferry services between Greece and Italy were suspended and are not due to restart before July 1.
Chris and Dominique Wallace decided to take a holiday in late winter, driving from France through Italy and Greece in their van, then taking the ferry to Patras and then on to Crete from Piraeus on February 24.
They booked their return tickets for March 25, but unfortunately that was just when Greece and Italy had imposed a lockdown and all ferry services were canceled.
“We have been stuck on Crete for more than three months, which of course is not that bad,” Wallace, who has purchased a home in the village of Kavousi, near Aghios Nikolaos on eastern Crete, tells Greek Reporter.
“Considering that France was really hit hard by coronavirus, we were perhaps safer being here in Crete, which had hardly any cases.”
But, as Wallace says, his business back in France is “suffering like all businesses around the world,” and he needs to get back home as soon as possible.
“Why does the Greek government not apply the same rules to shipping as to flights and reopen the sea routes to Italy on June 15th, enabling us and probably many other foreign nationals to go home after three months confinement in your beautiful country?” he asks.
“From June 15, you can fly to Italy, but you can’t travel by sea. I think it makes no sense,” he adds in frustration.
Wallace says that he has been e-mailing and telephoning Greek ministries and port authorities to find an explanation of why the ferry routes will not be opened at the same time as air traffic will.
On the few occasions that the French resident actually received a reply, he was only told that the decision rests with the central government of Greece.