Greece sends police to popular tourist hotspots as COVID-19 erupts

WION Web Team
Greece Published: Jul 30, 2021, 05:50 PM(IST)

Police officers stand guard as anti-vaccine demonstrators take part in a protest against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccinations in front of the Greek parliament in Athens Photograph:( AFP )

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Greek tourist hotspots have witnessed coronavirus cases rise in the past month with the Delta variant being the dominant strain.

Greek authorities sent police to holiday islands amid a surge in coronavirus cases as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) marked the country's Aegean island "dark red".

The government sent police to Mykonos and Ios in order to ensure locals comply with coronavirus protocols. A police force was also reportedly sent to Cycladesc isle as the European disease prevention agency declared that only essential travel was advisable in Aegean islands.

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Greek minister Nikos Hardalias added that popular tourist destinations - Mykonos and Ios were just "one step" away from restrictions with worrying situation developing in other islands including Rhodes, Santorini, Zakynthos and Tinos.

The popular tourist island of Mykonos was earlier placed on red alert despite it being considered a vaccination model. The authorities had imposed night curfew and among other restrictions and lifted it later.

Authorities decided to vaccinate 12 and 15-year-olds this week with the Delta variant raging in the country.

The country's parliament had earlier passed a bill to ensure mandatory vaccinations of health workers, including those working in retirement homes as the country ramps up its inoculation drive.

ECDC had predicted a sharp rise in coronavirus cases by August 1 with nearly five times as many new infections in Europe due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

"The current continuing deterioration of the epidemiological situation in many countries is expected to continue given the rapid increase in the Delta variant," the ECDC report said marking Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain among others which could witness increased deaths.

The health body said 90 per cent of new COVID-19 cases by the end of August could be due to the Delta variant.

"In the most affected countries, the steepest increases and highest notification rates were reported among 15 to 24-year-olds, with limited increases in persons aged over 65 years," the European health agency asserted.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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