Some 2,500 travelers were banned in the last three days alone from entering ferries departing for the Greek islands because they lacked the required Covid-documentation to board the ships, Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis said on Monday.
The Minister did not mention anything on whether travelers were not allowed to board on ships and return from the islands to the mainland due to lack of documentation or tested positive to Covid-19 as the latest decision of the Shipping Ministry provides.
Since July 16, unvaccinated travelers returning from the islands to mainland will have to present a negative molecular PCR or a Rapid test or a self-test in order to board a ferry or a ship or even a sea taxi.
Plakiotakis said that the Coast Guard was put in charge of checking that public health safety measures are being upheld at ports since July 13, amid concerns that Greek and foreign tourists traveling to and from the islands are driving the spike in coronavirus infections.
He stressed that before the Coast Guard took over the controls from the port authorities, checks were “inadequate” and implied criticism towards the shipping companies, the port authorities and anyone involved in them.
“This is why the Coast Guard took over the checks before embarkation,” he told Open TV on Monday.
Amid outbreaks on the islands, the Civil Protection imposed night curfew and music ban on the island of Mykonos. The head of the agency Nikos Hardalis warned last Thursday that the government was “one step” before imposing restrictions on the islands of Santorini, Paros, Ios as well as in Rethymno and Heraklio in Crete.
Travelers to the islands need to display either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recent recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid test conducted 42 hours before traveling.
As of July 16, unvaccinated travelers returning to mainland Greece will have to present a negative self-test or a rapid test in order to board a ferry.