Hardalias: Travel to Crete Allowed, Rest of Greek Islands under Consideration

ATHENS – Travel between prefectures and to Crete will be allowed as of May 18, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said on Monday, adding that travel to islands is under consideration.

At the thrice-weekly live meeting on the coronavirus developments in Greece, Hardalias said the government's intention is to allow travel to the islands on May 25, but this decision will be not confirmed until the middle of next week. Until now, only permanent residents of Crete and the islands were allowed to travel to them, with proof of residence documentation.

The decision to allow travel between prefectures and to the island of Crete, he said, relates to their infrastructure preparedness in the event a person becomes ill with Covid-19.

Hardalias also mentioned that movement from and to reception and identification centers and other facilities will be extended to May 21.

Speaking of the churches whose services will be open to the public as of May 17, he said that restrictions called for 1 person per 10 sqm and a 1.5-meters distance in all directions. This will also need to be observed at baptisms, weddings and funerals. The maximum number of attendees cannot exceed 50, whatever the size of the church, he said, while all must observe health precautions.

Hardalias commented that on Monday, when the second phase of lifting restrictions began, schools and businesses went back into operation smoothly. The only problems occurred at the Public Power Corporation local outlets, where people crowded to pay their bills, but these were dealt with immediately and effectively, he said.

The minister also made special mention of nursing staff, on International Nurses Day (May 12), thanking them for their contribution especially during the pandemic. He also said this day is the 90th anniversary of founding of the Greek Fire Brigade as an independent body, and said its assistance has been decisive in helping track coronavirus infections in Greece and in ensuring that people returning from abroad observe quarantine.



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