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Greece increases ferries and ships capacity to 80%-85%, despite cases surge

Despite surge of coronavirus cases in the last days and new imposed restrictions, Greece’s Shipping Ministry decide to increase the number of passengers ships and ferries are allowed to transport. the capacity increases from 60% and 65% to 80% and 85%.

Capacity increases to 80% for ships without cabins and to 85% for those with cabins.

The measure of the minimum safety distance of 1.5 meters is maintained.

Also, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained between the occupants.

In passengers cabins, up to four people can accommodate if they are first and second degree relatives or people with disabilities and their attendant.

High-speed hydrofoils with a passenger protocol of 50%, capacity can be increased to 80% only if they have HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and, if certified by government bodies, under the responsibility of the shipowner.

Passengers and crew members are required, before boarding, during the voyage, as well as during the disembarkation of the passengers, to comply with the protection measures to contain the coronavirus.

For example, passengers (and crew members) are obliged to wear masks in the closed spaces of the vessels.

Violation of the measures fines passengers and crew with 150 euros, and the shipowner and the captain with 1,000 euros.

Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis, has requested an explicit order to all the port authorities of the country to carry out additional controls on the coastal shipping, both during boarding and disembarking, as well as on the ships.

The capacity increase comes just two days after Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis assured that there will be no increase. Speaking to Ant1 TV on Friday, Theoharis said that “shipping companies have reached their limits, but the health experts committee is strict and would not allow capacity increase.”

It is slowly becoming crystal clear that the government has lost the ball of containing the virus after the first success in spring., chasing positive economy figures on the coast of public health.

After a constant infections increase since July 21, new confirmed spiked to 110 on Saturday shocking the health experts and the society – maybe also the government members, but apparently not all of them…

And to think that the government imposed a series of new restrictions for the whole month of August on Friday

PS Friends and relatives who have travelled by ship in the last 10 days have been complaining that the protection measures are not kept and crowding is inevitable especially during disembarkation.

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