Thousands of Athenians have left the Greek capital for the countryside, their second homes in nearby resorts, villages and the Aegean islands as Greece shuts down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The mass exodus, however, raises concerns that the virus would then be transferred to isolated areas that have until now no known cases of the disease.
On Monday, the region of the Southern Aegean asked authorities to prevent travelers from Athens from arriving there unless they have a permanent residence on the islands.
Kathimerini reports that the local authority of Amorgos island called on travelers with suspicious symptoms and those who have recently traveled abroad to stay away.
“In recent days, we have suddenly seen Athenians coming to the island for vacation. This creates insecurity, all the island’s infrastructure to cope for coronavirus is just a container outside the health center,” Aggeliki Apergi, a resident of the island of Tinos, told the newspaper.
Greece has shut down schools, universities, theaters, churches and all sporting activities. Starting on Wednesday, all shops will also be closed, excluding pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations.
Although the government has urged people to stay indoors to prevent spreading the coronavirus, there are concerns that more people will leave in droves from Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities towards the countryside and the islands in the coming days.
Greece under Coronavirus As Greece has shut down most its social life, including cafes and restaurants, and the Greek way of life has changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, GR’s Nasos Papargyropoulos is taking us on a live tour of the Athens centre and show us what is like to be in Greece during these defining moments. Measures include, school closures, banning large gatherings and asking citizens to stay at home as much as they can. Since today citizens can enter supermarkets only in specific numbers
Posted by Greek Reporter on Monday, 16 March 2020