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Nomad to Gradually Recommence Operations in Greece

May 5th, 2020 by

Below is a letter we sent to all of our subscribers on Monday 4th May, containing an update about our plans. For anyone planning on moving to Greece this year (or from Greece to the UK) this is great news. As the only British removal company specialising in removals to Greece, Nomad is relied upon by hundreds of British and European expats in Greece each year. Many were waiting to hear when we were recommencing operations, and we were very pleased to bring them good news.

We hope all you are keeping well at this very difficult time.

We would like to share an update with you about our business and our plans over the next few weeks and months.

But first we would like to thank all of our customers for their patience and understanding, especially those who have had to wait some time for their delivery.  We really appreciate it.  Thank you very much.

Our email of 18th March reassured our customers that transport through Europe had not halted (as many feared), and that we would be able to continue to serve our customers in Greece and Italy, both in terms of removals and our regular parcel services.

This remained true, even when Greece, Italy and finally the UK subsequently went into “lockdown”. While we were not prevented from conducting our business and we were legally allowed to conduct removals, we decided to voluntarily pause operations for a few weeks in all of these countries, so as to do everything we could to help reduce disease transmission.  During this time we only completed deliveries that were urgent or where there were other extraordinary circumstances, bringing the vast majority of our work to a halt.

In the UK, despite many of our team being furloughed and only a skeleton staff in the office and warehouse, we have been able to set up safe operations to accept deliveries from parcel delivery companies, which has enabled our “Crete Express” parcel service to continue receiving goods during this time.  As a result we were able to send our latest vehicle to Greece last week, arriving in a couple of days’ time.

Opening Up

On 29th April the Prime Minister of Greece announced the government’s plans for the gradual end of lockdown measures.  The Italian government has also laid out its plans and we expect the UK government to announce similar plans soon.

As a result, from today, 4th May we will be recommencing operations in Greece.  From this date our international removal services in Greece will be back up and running relatively normally (albeit cautiously).  Our “Crete Express” customers will be welcome to come to the depot again to collect their consignments (or drop them off, for transport to the UK).

We are waiting for the UK government to provide specific guidance regarding its plans for reopening businesses, before we announce a full return to normal operations in the UK.  We anticipate that this date will be around mid-May.  In the meantime we are still operating only a skeleton staff, but our UK warehouse is open for deliveries.  We have safe operating procedures in place and we are receiving deliveries on a daily basis.  Soon we will be back up and running with normal removal operations in the UK (and Italy), and we will let you know when we have a date for this.

So we would like to briefly summarise the situation for each of our customers below.  We keep in close contact with our removal customers so if you are moving house with us at the moment you will already be generally aware of the below details.  But here is a brief summary:

Moving to Greece

Customers whose collections have already been completed and are ready to receive delivery in Greece: we can now complete these deliveries for you, starting from today, Monday 4th May.  We will be in touch with you individually to book in the details of course.

Customers who are moving shortly from the UK (or other European countries) to Greece: we will be in contact with you to book in your collection as soon as we can.  We are waiting for government announcements to guide us, but we anticipate being able to conduct UK collections from mid-May.

Note: a few islands (notably Corfu) imposed stricter measures than the rest of Greece and have not fully opened yet, but we expect them to reopen to transport companies of all kinds soon. In the meantime we are monitoring the situation and staying in touch with local port authorities. The vast majority of islands are open to transport to and from the mainland.

Moving from Greece

We have conducted some collections for customers moving from Greece to the UK before the “lockdown” (and in exceptional or urgent cases during the “lockdown”) and we will deliver these to you as soon as we are able to recommence full UK operations.  We are in touch with each of you individually of course, so we are aware of individual circumstances, but if any circumstances change and you require delivery urgently please let us know and we will do our best for you.  We anticipate being able to return to normal UK operations from mid-May.

For customers who would like to move from Greece to the UK (or another country) in the near future and we have not conducted your collection yet, we can now book in your removal as we normally would, starting from today, Monday 4th May.

Note: a few islands (notably Corfu) imposed stricter measures than the rest of Greece and have not fully opened yet, but we expect them to reopen to transport companies of all kinds soon. In the meantime we are monitoring the situation and staying in touch with local port authorities. The vast majority of islands are open to transport to and from the mainland.

Moving to or from Italy

We have some clients planning to move (or send some belongings) to and from Italy in the near future and we are communicating with you individually about this.  We are assessing the recommendations in Italy on a region by region basis and will be recommencing operations in each region as appropriate.  We will recommence removal operations in some regions by mid-May and in others slightly later.  Please just ask us if you would like to enquire further about this, we would be happy to help you to plan your move.

“Crete Express” Service in Crete, Greece

Our very popular “Crete Express” service will be back up and running as normal, with our customers able to collect from the depot in Vamos, from today, Monday 4th May.  Any customers who require delivery will of course receive their deliveries as normal.  For items going in the reverse direction, we will of course collect as normal, or you can drop them at the depot, from today, Monday 4th May.

Crete Express customers whose goods are already in Crete, waiting to be collected: we are already in contact with you individually.  Thank you for your patience. You can come into the depot to collect from today.

Crete Express customers whose goods are coming to Crete on the vehicle which departed on 29th April: this vehicle will arrive in Crete towards the end of the week (approximately 8th May) and will operate as normal, with the normal processes for collections and deliveries.

New Crete Express orders: we will be sending more vehicles to Crete in May, June and for the rest of the year, (please see below).  So if you would like to order things from the UK to come to Crete, feel free to book now.  For May bookings please hurry as the next vehicle is close to being fully-booked.

Please note that some personal travel restrictions are still in force this week (the directive not to travel outside of the prefecture you live in) so for customers who live in a prefecture of Crete other than Chania, please only come to our depot once allowed of course.

Please also note that social distancing rules do still apply beyond 4th May.  While we are operating “normally” there are new social distancing measures that will apply to life (generally) for the foreseeable future, so please stay aware of this.  For example the depot will not be able to allow as many customers inside at the same time as before, and people must keep their distance from each other.  This will be a normal part of life for at least the next few months, and it does apply to our work too.

Our Next Departures and the Frequency of our Journeys

We are busier than expected.  We had planned for our next departure to be around the end of May (purposely delayed), but we are already seeing very strong demand so we will bring this vehicle forward slightly and send our next vehicle as soon as possible afterwards.  The exact departure dates are still to be confirmed but they will be “late May” and “early-mid June” from the UK.  As it stands the late May vehicle is already almost fully-booked so we recommend contacting us soon if you would like us to conduct your removal on this next departure.  We will have more clarity on departure dates in our next email, which will be when we announce a return to normalised operations in the UK.

Our “return” journeys are also very busy, with each of the last vehicles almost fully booked and the next two vehicles looking busy too.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss a move from Greece in 2020.  If your move is urgent please let us know as soon as possible so that we can book you in.

Summer: once travel restrictions are eased and flights reopen we are expecting to be even busier than usual. If required we will be sending vehicles more frequently than usual over this period.

Brexit

What’s Brexit?  Oh yes that’s right, we forgot about it for a moment too.  The current situation is that the UK is still in the “transition phase” where everything is operating, for all intents and purposes, as if the UK was still in the EU.  The transition period is set to end on 31st December 2020.  There is speculation as to whether the date will be extended or not, and once the transition period comes to an end, what the arrangements will finally look like.  Greece has been very clear about its welcoming stance towards emigrants from the UK, and indeed announced its own transition period to allow for this before even the EU or the UK did.  Greece has not yet announced its plans for the treatment of new arrivals from the UK after the transition period, in each of the different scenarios (each possible version of a “deal” between the UK and the EU).  We can only guess from its continuously welcoming, proactive approach that Greece will continue to be very welcoming to British emigrants and will allow British people to settle in Greece regardless of the outcome between the UK and EU.  For those who are not comfortable with any degree of uncertainty, however, there is a strong case to be made for moving in 2020, before the end of the transition period.

PPE

Our same friendly teams will be conducting your removals in the UK and Greece, but you might not be able to see as much of their friendly faces!  We will be putting in place new protocols for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during removals for at least the next few months, and most likely the remainder of 2020.  The situation is slightly different in each country (the shortage of PPE in the UK and the request that available stocks are allocated to the NHS mean that we have not yet purchased masks for our team), but we will be managing this as appropriate in each case.  We may also have some additional rules on removal day, regarding the movements of our team and even our clients into and out of the house, so as to maintain good hygiene standards with regard to COVID-19.  Guidance on this topic is evolving rapidly, but for now please just be aware that our removal teams will be maintaining some distance and wearing PPE of various kinds as appropriate in each situation.

The health & safety of the most vulnerable people in our society should always be the highest priority.  We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and government advice in each country, as it evolves.  We hope that a return to a “lockdown” will not be required at any point in future, and that the disease will continue to abate.  Our thoughts are with those who have died during this pandemic, and their loved ones.

Thank you not only for your patience over these last weeks, but in reading this long email.

We wish you all the best of health, and that 2020 will start to get much better for everyone.

With kind regards,

The Nomad Team

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