EU health body warns against visiting Greek islands over COVID-19

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Greece’s south Aegean islands were marked dark red on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s COVID-19 map on Thursday. 

The European Union (EU) agency discourages all but essential travel to and from thirteen islands. 

Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias says Mykonos and Ios are “one step” away from restrictions. 

Minister Hardalias adds the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, Tinos, Lefkada, Santorini, Paros, and Rhodes, to the growing list of concern. 

Minister Nick Hardalias expressed his growing concern for the tourism hotspots following the ECDC’s move to designate islands as dark red zones (Right: ANA-MPA/Yiannis Kolesidis) (Left: Via @ECDC_EU on Twitter)

The dark red zones may help distinguish very high-risk areas to consider testing, quarantine, and vaccination measures. 

Crete was added to the dark red zone last week. 

The dark red zones on the ECDC map help distinguish very high-risk areas (Photo: ECDC)

Greece has been promoting “COVID-free” islands to boost tourism for the summer period after the industry’s worst year in decades in 2020. 

Uncertainty remains over how the season will unfold, despite a strong June in terms of arrivals and optimism from ministers and tourism officials. 

“We’re waiting to see how the (tourist) markets will react,” said Manolis Markopoulos, president of the hoteliers association of Rhodes, referring to the decision of the ECDC. 

Source: Reuters

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