In an effort to slow down an unexpected spike of COVID-19 cases on Greece’s popular island destinations, Greek Coast Guard officials have taken over inspections at docks and have prevented some 2500 people from getting on ferry boats because they didn’t have proof of being vaccinated or free of the Coronavirus.
Prior to the Coast Guard’s taking over the inspections of documents, the job was left to ferryboat crew, leading to mishandling of inspections that even Greek Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis admitted to in a television interview.
Journalists on Open TV called Plakiotakis to task for the government’s mishandling that could have led to the spreading of the virus to various tourist destinations.
The health safety checks include preventing travelers from boarding ferries without documents that prove a negative PCR test, proof they have recovered from the virus, or proof of vaccination.
Meanwhile, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, who announced strict new measures targeting the island of Mykonos on Saturday, warned that the government is “one step” before imposing restrictions on Santorini, Paros, Ios and Rethymno and Iraklio in Crete.
Music was banned from Mykonos and a 1:00am curfew was imposed beginning last Saturday, July 17, for a week.
The government has been criticized for what many are calling a disorganized and haphazard approach to handling the reopening of the country to tourists.
“They let thousands come to the islands without proper documentation, leading to a spike in infections and then they punish the island with this misguided mini-lockdown,” explained Nikolaos Mantzos, a front desk manager at a hotel on Mykonos.
He added that the “punitive” measures against Mykonos were unfair and also bad for business.
“Clearly Athens is scapegoating Mykonos for a problem they created and don’t know how to solve,” Mantzos explained in an email to The Pappas Post.
The mayor of Mykonos, Mr. Constantinos Koukas, also criticized the government’s “misguided targeting” of his island, one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
In a Facebook post, Koukas called on Athens to revise its policy, which he called a “mistake that leads nowhere.”
Prior to the country’s reopening, Koukas led a public vaccination campaign that resulted in the island having one of the highest vaccination rates in Greece.
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