The mayors of a growing number of Greek islands are urging the government to tighten current travel restrictions ahead of Greek Orthodox Easter for 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 called on Greeks to stay put for the Easter holidays, which culminate on April 19, a period during which city dwellers travel en masse to the countryside.
Additionally, island authorities are requesting the launch of a minimum but regular ferry routes.