West Lesvos grudgingly designates facility for migrant quarantine

West Lesvos grudgingly designates facility for migrant quarantine

The municipal council of western Lesvos on the northeastern Aegean island decided to allow the reuse of the abandoned and damaged facilities at Skala Sykamnias as a quarantine area of newly arriving migrants for the required 14 days.

Skala Sykamnias, a landing point for migrants and refugees coming from the Turkish shores across, used to house migrants but was shut down. It was later damaged by fire.

The municipal council – which does not include the overcrowded Moria hotspot  – said the facility would open and remain in operation for as long as the coronavirus pandemic measures by the government remain in effect, or until the mayor's proposal for a quarantine ship is carried out.

However it insisted that the facility will be exclusively supervised by the Hellenic Police, the Coast Guard, and the National Public Health Organization and no involvement of any NGOs or even the UN High Commission for Refugees will be allowed, even for feeding the migrants and refugees on quarantine.

"This decision is taken because of the state of emergency in our country and in the neighboring country due to the pandemic, and in no way serves as a concession to the operation of any permanent or temporary migrant reception center within the limits of the municipality," the municipal council said in a statement.

West Lesvos has resisted calls by the government to voluntarily select an area to build controlled migrant and refugee facilities on the island.


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