The Greek government has made the decision to ban travel between the Greek islands, only allowing permanent residents of islands to access transport ferries. The decision comes as the Greek government recognises that the islanders require stronger protection from the coronavirus.
The measure to contain the spread of the pandemic goes into effect at 6:00 o’ clock Saturday morning, March 21, 2020.
Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis stated that people from the mainland who are already on the islands will be allowed to return.
“The smaller the island where one believes they will travel to for protection, the more difficult, if not impossible, one’s care will be if this person becomes ill,” he said in a televised statement.
The measure had been requested by local authorities, especially on the Greek islands and in regions far from large urban centres, who have urged that non-locals to stay away in order to protect residents from the highly infections virus.
Despite local authorities calls to stay away, ferries rejected these warnings on Friday morning, with one ferry leaving the port of Piraeus with a very crowded group of people.
“The message is We Stay Home, we restrict our movements to the utmost necessary to protect ourselves and our fellow citizens. Some people still do not follow the instructions to Stay Home, so we have to do everything we can,” Giannis Plakiotakis said.
The ferries will supply the islands will resources, transport permanent residents and bring non-residents back to the mainland.