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Greece bans music on Mykonos to curb COVID-19 spread

The Hill logo The Hill 7/17/2021 Caroline Vakil
a group of people in a large body of water: Greece bans music on Mykonos to curb COVID-19 spread © LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images Greece bans music on Mykonos to curb COVID-19 spread

Greece announced on Saturday that it's implementing several restrictions, including banning music, on the popular island of Mykonos in an effort to combat a local outbreak of COVID-19.

Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said in a statement on Saturday that music would be banned starting at 6 p.m. local time on Saturday. Additionally, travel would be banned between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. local time with some work- and health-related exceptions.

Hardalias said that the ban would stay in place until July 26 with an assessment taking place before then.

"We call on the residents, visitors and professionals of our beautiful island to faithfully observe the measures, as well as the authorities of the island to immediately activate the information and control mechanisms for their observance, so that the spread of the virus and Mykonos can be controlled and limited," Hardalias said.

COVID-19 cases have recently been trending upward in Greece. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Greece had 2,794 confirmed cases on Friday and hit a recent peak of 3,911 cases on Wednesday. In late June, the country had been logging daily cases between 200 and 600.

Mykonos is considered a popular party destination spot for the wealthy. Greece relies on tourism, which makes up 20 percent of its economy, Reuters noted.

Mykonos Mayor Konstantinos Koukas said in a statement on Facebook Saturday that it was an "unfair decision" that needed to be "fixed immediately."

"From the first moment of the start of the pandemic we stated that everyone's top priority is to protect public health and we served this consistently and seriously. We have always worked with all competent authorities, helped implement health protocols, supported the Health Center, supplied with the necessary means of protection," Koukas said.

"It is a fact that in recent days there has been an increase in cases mainly of younger age, but a number of other parameters should be counted, such as many tests on our island are done on visitors who did not live in Mykonos, but used Mykonos Airport," he added.

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