Ferry services resume to all islands, though Italy still off-bounds

Ferry services resume to all islands, though Italy still off-bounds

Ferry services got back into full swing on Monday morning, sailing to all Greek island and mainland ports as part of the fourth phase of the government’s plan to gradually bring the country out of a nationwide lockdown imposed in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Monday’s reopening of ferry services to all passengers came after the government lifted a ban on sailings to and from Crete last week, as a dress rehearsal of the health measures that apply on all ships, including strict physical distancing, a health questionnaire and temperatures readings.

The lifting of the ban, however, does not include ferries sailing between Greece and Italy, which are expected to resume on June 1 if coronavirus infections and deaths in Italy continue to drop over the coming days.

“We are waiting for new instructions to on when the Patra-Italy service will resume again,” the CEO of the western port, Panagiotis Tsonis, told the Patrasevents website last week, explaining that the port authority had received orders to ban passenger services between Patra and the Italian ports of Ancona and Bari until May 31.

“However, since everything is going well so far, we hope that the ban will not be extended again and are getting ready to gradually return to normal,” Tsonis added.

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