Greece to allow travel to all its islands next week

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The Greek authorities will allow travel to and from all its islands starting from May 25, officials announced during a regular press briefing.

The decision was made as the gradual rollback of the measures implemented in the past few months to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country was undergoing well, said Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management at the Ministry of Citizen Protection.

Greece was under full lockdown from March 23 till May 4 and in the past two weeks the government has started to ease the measures.

Four new confirmed coronavirus cases were registered in the last 24 hours with no deaths, said the Health Ministry’s coronavirus spokesman Prof. Sotirios Tsiodras at the briefing.

Since the first case was reported on Feb. 26 in Greece, a total of 2,840 infections have been diagnosed, including 165 fatalities.

The average age of the deceased was 75 years and 94 percent had underlying health conditions and/or were above 70 years of age, the expert noted.

Currently 22 patients were being treated in intensive care units and 95 have so far been discharged from ICUs.

Tsiodras welcomed “the endorsement by more than 100 countries, including China and Australia, of the European Union’s resolution for an independent evaluation of the management of the pandemic on the global level, by the WHO (World Health Organization), as well as by countries, during WHO’s ministerial meeting yesterday.”

“We all have to take lessons from the pandemic and its management so far,” stressed the Greek expert, according to an e-mailed press release issued by the Health Ministry.

Most of the businesses which had closed earlier this spring have reopened, as well as archaeological sites and all middle and high schools. A decision on whether elementary schools will open on June 1 will be announced next Monday, Hardalias said.

Restaurants will open on Monday while hotels are scheduled to follow on June 1 as Greece is taking steps to kick start its tourism sector, a pillar of its economy.

Until May 31, a quarantine rule on all arrivals on the limited number of flights landing at Athens International Airport will remain in place, said the deputy minister.

A total of 46,000 people had entered Greece since the start of the outbreak in the country, he added.