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Poros Island Police Chief Faces Transfer Over COVID-19 Check Failures

After the island of Poros was essentially locked down when more than 30 cases of COVID-19 were found, the head of the police station there was set to be removed for allegedly being lax in enforcement of health restrictions.

Cases are soaring again in Greece after they had been held down dramatically under a March 23 lockdown that began being lifted week-by-week on May 4 and people ignoring or defying requirements to wear masks and keep safe social distances of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart.

The police chief, who was note named, had been blamed by Mayor Yiannis Dimitriadis for not doing enough checks of businesses to make sure they were enforcing the restrictions, said Kathimerini.

Poros, like all Greek islands during the time of the Coronavirus, is frantic for tourists, including Greeks traveling domestically, to offset huge economic losses caused by the lockdown and the summer winding away fast.

Dimitriades told the broadcaster SKAI the municipality had to impose the measures because local police didn't and that the attitude among the officers was to look the other way, causing the infection to spread.

Sources in the Hellenic Police (ELAS), which started the procedure for his removal,  told the paper that the chief had filed a complaint about his transfer and that it would be reviewed.

Health authorities imposed a curfew shutting down all businesses from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day,  banned public and private gatherings of any kind involving more than nine people, suspended farmers’ markets, village festivals and set a limit of four people (six if they belong to the same household) on the number of people allowed to sit at the same cafe or restaurant table.

Masks have also been made mandatory in all public spaces, indoor and out.

Earlier, the Union of Police Officers of Piraeus responded to the mayor's complaints that officers weren't doing their job on the island, blaming him instead for the outbreak.

“The objections and statements of the mayor of Poros that there were shortcoming and irregularities on the part of the local police and the staff serving there, regarding the use of a masks, overcrowding etc, raises questions,” the union had said.

“It seems that the honorable mayor, in order to artificially evade his own responsibilities, chooses to impose responsibilities on the few police officers struggling on all fronts,” it also added.

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