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Covid-19 Takes Toll on Transport in Greece

Greek authorities are thinking of banning travel from Germany, France and the UK in efforts to contain the further spread of Covid-19 days after suspending all flights to and from Spain and Italy.

The decision comes in view of rising coronavirus cases in the three countries.

According to media reports citing the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA), no decisions have been made yet, but “Germany, France and England are the next countries we will probably need to take action for”.

At the same time, the HCAA in cooperation with the health ministry and the National Public Health Organization (EODY) is considering restrictive measures on domestic flights as well.

Last week, the government extended a ban on travel to and from Italy, suspending ferry services between the two countries. Flights to and from Spain will cease until March 29.

Meanwhile, besides taking a toll on airline revenues, the coronavirus outbreak is also impacting mass transport across Greece, which recorded a 50 percent decline in passenger traffic in the last week alone.

To offset the potential damages, transport authorities are examining the possibility of cutting midnight services (12pm-2am) on buses and trains.

Athens Mass Transit System (OASA) announced that it had proceeded with transport service cuts in view of plummeting commuter figures – down by 50 percent in the last week – resulting from the virus. OASA advises commuters to check online for revised schedules or call 11185.

Railway service operator Trainose also announced that it had reduced inter-city train services this week.

In efforts to keep all of the country’s airports open and operating safely, the HCAA is expected to announce additional safety measures for airport staff. Starting on Tuesday, airports will be operating with reduced staff in as part of coronavirus prevention measures. Control towers and air traffic control will be fully manned.

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