Authorities on the island of Mykonos imposed a fine of 20,000 euros and shut down for 60 days one of the famous beach bars on the island for “facilitating” crowding over the weekend. Worth noting, right away, is that customers are not allowed to stay at the bar counter; they can only take their drinks and move away from the counter. And apparently this happened. But… can a facility owner play police and tell its customers where and how close to stand?
On the first day after a long lockdown, beach bars were allowed to serve alcohol and play music, hundreds of young people, locals and visitors from the mainland, flocked to one of the most famous bars on the island in Ftelia. They enjoyed drinks, music and flirting on a warm summer Saturday, as if there was no tomorrow, no coronavirus and no risk.
Some local allegedly denounced the crowding and congestion phenomenon to authorities that rush to the beach bar, imposed the hefty fine and shut it down for two months, exactly at the beginning of the much anticipated tourist season.
280 seasonal employees found themselves again without work.
Possible dozens of people have been infected.
“We have a very serious problem of overcrowding and congestion. One person of this crowd is enough to infect 100 or 200 others,” Professor for Infectious Diseases Nikolaos Sypsas told Skai TV on Monday morning.
He blamed both the crowd as well as the business owner for neglecting their responsibilities.
“The epidemic is not over,” Sypsas stressed adding the owners of entertainment facilities cannot accept all customers going there.
“The country is making a huge effort to open up the economy, but everyone must abide by the rules, because if we consider that the virus is over, this is the shortest way to our utter disaster,” said Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis justifying the fine and the temporary closure of the beach bar.
He claimed that inspections were carried out across the country over the weekend but that the phenomenon on Mykonos was striking.
“Non-striking” crowding in Nafpaktos, Central Greece
The padlock on the beach bar angered not only the owner but also other owners of tourist facilities who now threaten with counter-measures: to close their shops and facilities.
“All of us entrepreneurs in Mykonos have the health of employees and customers as a priority. Therefore, we are obliged to implement the health protocols. As long as it is possible. In other words, “It is very difficult in a facility where people are standing to play police and forbid them to approach each other, even if you observe the necessary distancing measures, ” Iraklis Zisimopoulos, Secretary of Catering and Entertainment of Mykonos, told state broadcaster ERT TV.
He stressed that for all entrepreneurs in Mykonos the health of employees and customers is “top priority” and that they follow the health protocols “as long as it is possible.”
He underlined, though, that the measures imposed by the government for facilities such as beach bars were not sustainable economically and hygienically in order to avoid crowding and congestion in open air facilities operating without seats.
A difficult task.
Zisimopoulos said that they propose controlling of the perimeter space, with specific entrance where customers will be registered so that that tracing in case of infection to be possible.
He said that the members of the catering and entertainment facilities in Mykonos will discuss today, Monday, if they will shut down their facilities. “Maybe for some this is a one way street,” he said stressing that for some to operate on the basis of government measures is not sustainable.