Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis announced on Friday that only permanent residents and supply trucks will be allowed to travel to the Aegean islands, in a bid to ban the unnecessary movement of people within the country and halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
People from the mainland who are already on the islands will be allowed to return. The ban will come into force from 6 a.m. this Saturday, the minister said.
"The smaller the island where one believes will travel to for protection, the more difficult, if not impossible, one's care will be if this person becomes ill," he said in a televised statement.
The government is expected to issue the relevant ministerial decision detailing its decision's context and exceptions.
The measure had been requested by local authorities, especially on the Greek islands and in regions far from large urban centres, who have urged that non-locals to stay away in order to protect residents from the highly infections virus.