NEWS

Mayors welcome beach opening, with some reservations

mayors-welcome-beach-opening-with-some-reservations

The mayors of coastal municipalities in Attica welcomed the government’s decision on Wednesday to allow organized beaches to open this weekend, when temperatures are forecast to soar, but also expressed concerns about whether bathers will observe safety guidelines to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the new guidelines, the organized beaches –  with umbrellas and all kinds of amenities – will operate at 60% capacity without music and there will be a ban on the sale of alcohol by beach bars, while the staff must comply with all protection measures (including masks and gloves).

Moreover, after each time a sunbed is used by a bather, it will be cleaned by the staff. The distance between each umbrella and sunbed set should be 4 meters.

As of Wednesday, the municipalities of coastal areas with organized beaches have been in a veritable race against time in order to get everything ready and the necessary safety measures in place for the protection of staff and visitors.

However, despite the satisfaction of local authorities at the opening of the beaches, it is tempered by concerns over possible overcrowding, as was the case in the city squares.

There is also the question of who will be responsible to ensure that the measures are enforced, as some mayors say they do not have the necessary authority.

Meanwhile health authorities in Larissa, central Greece took 652 samples from a Roma settlement as part of the effort to track the contacts made by those infected by the coronavirus. Alarm bells were set off last week when 11 of 96 samples examined in the area tested positive.

Tracking also continued on the island of Lesvos after two migrants tested positive at the makeshift structure where arrivals from Turkey are quarantined for 14 days.