ATHENS: Greece has banned music in restaurants and bars and imposed an overnight curfew on its popular resort island of Mykonos on Saturday after a spike in new coronavirus infections.
Known as the party island of the super-rich, Mykonos is one of Greece’s most popular destinations, attracting over a million visitors every summer, including Hollywood stars, models and internationally renowned athletes.
In the wake of a “disturbing” local outbreak, the Department of Civil Protection said it bans music around the clock on the island, including in shops, cafes and beach bars. He also said he would restrict movement from 1:00 to 6:00, except for those traveling to work and to the hospital.
Greece depends on tourism for a fifth of its economy and is desperate for a strong season this year after a disastrous 2020, when visitor numbers and revenues plummeted.
In recent weeks, infections have been on the rise in Greece, forcing the government to mandate vaccinations for healthcare workers and nursing home staff and to impose new restrictions across the country, including allowing only vaccinated customers to enter restaurants and clubs.
The Mayor of Mykonos, Konstantinos Koukas, said it was “unfair” and “wrong” to introduce measures in the midst of the tourist season.
“Mykonos cannot be the only island where music will not be heard … the only thing that can be achieved is that visitors go to another island,” he wrote on Facebook.
The government banned music in restaurants and bars across the country in May to prevent people from having to approach each other to be heard, increasing the chances of transmission of the virus. This measure was canceled when the number of infections decreased.
“We urge residents, visitors and professionals of our beautiful island to strictly observe the measures … so that we can quickly control and contain the spread of the virus and Mykonos can return to normal life,” the ministry said.
Restrictions in Mykonos will remain in effect until July 26. Reuters