Speedboats may not operate in coastal shipping during the summer, in case the passenger protocols remain at 50% of their capacity, due to the measures against the coronavirus pandemic, Michalis Sakellis, president of the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN), revealed speaking on Piraeus "Channel 1" radio during the program "Above all, Calm down” hosted by Nikos Bardounias.
He stressed that despite what has been written, there will be no increase in fares in the summer, due to the use of a new type of fuel from the beginning of 2020, with reduced sulfur, which is significantly more expensive than the fuel used by shipping companies until the end of 2019.
"I don't know exactly what the pricing policy of each company is, but I don't think there will be any increase in fares. Which company would make such an increase in such an economic environment?" he wondered.
According to the president of SEEN in July and August, it is necessary to change the protocols so that the ships will able to carry more passengers than the half that is allowed today. Otherwise, as he stressed, it will be statistically impossible for coastal shipping to serve the summer flows to the islands, since, with reduced protocols, it will be able to serve only 30% of the demand.
Regarding the Special Questionnaire that passengers will have to fill out before boarding the ferry (for a journey of more than 30 minutes), he said that it is already being considered by the companies to give it to the passengers before reaching the port to reduce the time spent offshore due to the stricter controls that will be carried out before the trip.
Finally, the president of SEEN stated that before entering the ships, the passengers will be subjected to heat measurement, will be wearing masks and gloves, while there will be one passenger per every two square meters of the ship's surface, something that harmonizes with what generally applies to gatherings of persons in accordance with the instructions of EODY.
"A space of 16 square meters will be available for a family of four. Research has shown that the average reservation is for three people, which means that on average each company or family will have six square meters at their disposal. Also, the vast majority of passengers on board are on open decks and therefore the proposed regulation is even safer, "he said.