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GREEK ISLANDS AND COVID-19

The mayors of a growing number of Greek islands are urging the government to tighten current travel restrictions ahead of Greek Orthodox Easter, as they fear visitors will contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

Among the mayors calling for stricter measures or even a total ban on travel are those of Rhodes, Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos, Lipsi as well as the regional governor and all local authorities of the South Aegean Region.

In letters to the relevant ministries, local island authorities are requesting that a total ban on ferry travel by non-residents be immediately implemented as well as a 14-day mandatory quarantine period for returning residents in an attempt to protect their communities, which have limited medical resources or are remotely located.

“The recent decision to restrict travel to the islands only to permanent residents is a very important step but does not guarantee the complete safety of the islanders and especially those living on smaller islands, given the problematic condition of health facilities, the difficulty of transport in case of emergency, and access…,” the letter said.

The mayors note that by implementing previous safety measures, there are currently no coronavirus incidents on the islands, which means that any new case will be the direct result of a visitor to the island.

Last week, the government announced that “there will be no Easter exodus this year. The lockdown will definitely be in place until then.”

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