Athenians Begin Mass August Exodus Despite Covid-19 Fears

Photo: AMNA

Thousands of Athenians are deserting the Greek capital for their annual August holidays this weekend, despite fears of a new coronavirus wave, while temperatures soared in many parts of the country.

The mass exodus is expected to culminate on Saturday, despite the heatwave, as thousands flock to ports and bus and train terminals.

Meteorologists, meanwhile, warn that the punishing heatwave with temperatures rising above 40°C (104°F) that has hit Greece since Wednesday will continue over the weekend.

Passenger traffic has increased in the port of Piraeus as of Friday morning, while a total of 23 ships are scheduled to depart from the port during the day.

Another 13 ships are expected to leave from Rafina and 10 from Lavrio.

In line with the restrictions established by the National Organisation for Public Health (EODY) until August 4, due to the coronavirus, the maximum number of passengers allowed on board ferries is 60 percent of their normal full capacity for ships without cabins and 65 percent for ships with cabins.

The Coast Guard is carrying out systematic checks on all ferries to check whether passengers and crews are complying with coronavirus protection measures.

All passengers will get their temperatures checked, while a distance of 1.5 meters in all areas of the ship should be maintained. The use of a face mask is mandatory only in the interior areas of ships.