Greece mandates mask wearing on ferries as Covid-19 infections surge

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta
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Greece has disclosed that it would mandate mask wearing on ferries arriving on its islands from Tuesday August 4, 2020 until August 18, 2020 as cases of infection are on the rise.

The new measure is a move to safeguard the country’s tourism from being hit by a new wave of infection which could directly impact its economy.

Stelios Petsas, government spokesperson, while addressing reporters on Monday August 3, 2020, said people should try to observe the new measure to avoid tougher measures from the government.

“Compliance with this measure is crucial to avoid more drastic measures that would reduce passenger-load limits on ships,” Stelios said.

Last week the government made wearing masks compulsory in outdoor public spaces and indoor spaces where it might not be easy for people to maintain social distancing.

Tourism forms Greece’s one of the key sources of revenue. The country though has witnessed about 10% decline in the sector this year due largely to coronavirus pandemic.

Greece has served as a popular holiday destination for a thousand of Cypriots.

However, Cypros said on Sunday that from August 6, it would start mandatory testing for all arrivals from Greek, making it the first country to make such requirement.

While commenting on Cypros’s move, Harry Theocharis, Greek Tourism Minister, said, “It is a decision which personally I don’t understand, I believe it is wrong or at least I don’t know the criteria on which it was based.”

He further stated that Greece is a safe country and that the two countries would hold talks over the matter.

“I hope there will be some sort of communication, some understanding between epidemiologists from both sides,” he said.

As of Monday, Greece has recorded about 4,662 coronavirus infections, 208 deaths and 1,374 recoveries.

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