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Archive for the ‘Corona virus’ Category

Vaccination process

The municipality has just announced, via a press release that I also received, that this Friday Mr. Σερετη will visit Skopelos to talk about the vaccination process, against Covid-19, on Skopelos. He will also visit the other Sporades islands. Mr. Σερετη is a representative of the governmental health region of Thessalia. It is decided that a vaccination center will be put up on the island to avoid travelling for the islanders so the vaccination process can be better organized for the health workers, first responders and the different age groups.

It was also announced that Greek islands with less than a 1000 inhabitants, all inhabitants who want too can get vaccinated at once.

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Small things

Greece has just come out of a strict lockdown and I feel that with the government plans for the next couple of months, apart for the possibility of being able to work and earn money we also will be able to travel, see friends and have a window on a brighter future.

In the meantime I try to stay aware of the small positive things around me. I have posted one more time a segment of the wonderful “musical box” that plays on ERT1 Greek state television every Wednesday . Great musicians, wonderful singers. Two hours long where you can forget everything!! This particular song I liked very much from last Wednesday. A cover song, don’t really know which one.

On Skopelos I enjoy the positive people. Today we saw Katharina from transport company Balalas for instance.
She always greats us with a smile and showers good wishes for those around her. Works many hours a day, has four children including a young son. Never heard her complaining, ever. With the receipt she gave us these sweets!

Sofia in the supermarket, always good advice on current sales and always with an optimistic word. Today she showed me a photo of my husband when he was in fourth grade with her husband. I just received it on my phone so I can show it to him.

I met Mrs. Maggie in the supermarket too. She has a sick husband but she always looks with a positive eye towards the future. They have a huge goat herd, she cooks for the farm hands who are of different origin so she cooks three different styles, makes cheese and takes care of her sick husband.

Two eggs from our chickens. Do you know how bright they look when I put them in a cake and how good they taste?

Our family is fortunate to be safe and well and together. We appreciate it very much!

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Lockdown in Greece has been extended by another week. Hopefully after this week some shops and restaurants can open again with click away (calling and ordering or via the computer and picking up later) Some other countries in and outside of Europe have even stricter lockdowns.

So much in the immediate future is unsure and that is hard for so many people. Will travelling be without too many restrictions soon? This situation that we are finding ourselves in, we have have to take it day by day, week by week and hopefully those brighter days will come.

Winter has not reached Skopelos yet. Apart from rain and strong winds, most days are sunny and we have temperatures that are far above normal for this time of the year. Many early spring flowers are out. Can’t remember them blooming so early.

Only one ferryboat, the Express Skiathos will sail from Volos to the Sporades and back the next couple of weeks. The flying dolphin called Venus and the ferryboat Proteus will stop sailing indefinitely. There are not enough passengers at this time to keep all three boats on the line Volos-Sporades and back.

Tomorrow Greek pre-school and elementary school children will able to go to school again. The government has tried to give all teachers a rapid test before they start teaching again. Some teachter arraive here on Saturday. Whether the authorities will be able to test them all is uncertain. Parents are worried because many teachers don’t work where their permanent residence is. They need to travel. To avoid crowds in front of the school the children have to arrive at different times and through different entrances. It might not be possible at all schools.

In Greece many first responders, hospital staff and old people’s homes staff have been vaccinated. As of tomorrow people from the general population, over 85 years can get vaccinated. They will be notified via their health insurance organization or they can make an appointment via the KEP offices and the pharmacies.

The rules for travelling in and out of Greece change constantly. Now when coming into Greece you need to quarantine for a week. This may change again.

Today instead of going to the beach we went to the area of Karya and collected wild greens. In particular radiki, a quite bitter green. We know a place…

All photographs were taken in the last three days.

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Going back

Greece goes back and forth with the restrictions under the current lockdown in the hope it will bring the Corona-virus patients and deaths numbers down. If there is a tendency of them going down there is a big probability of the schools opening. It is a big priority. Let children and teachers be able to find some kind of normality in these strange times. Give parents also time to breath.

This is why the Greek government has decided to tighten restrictive measures for next week in order to keep the virus infections at low levels and for schools to be able to open safely on January 11th.

The tightening of the measures for the week of January 3-10, 2021, is a decision of the prime minister for precautionary reasons, Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said today, Saturday.

Therefore, all activities and services that were gradually allowed in Greece before the holidays will be suspended from 6am Sunday, January 3, until 6am Monday, January 11.

More specifically, until January 11:

– The “click away” shopping method in retail stores, the operation of bookstores, hairdressers, nail salons and vehicle inspection services (KTEO) will be suspended.

– All hunting and fishing activities will be banned.

– Movement will be banned from 9pm until 5am throughout Greece. Movement after in between these times will only be allowed for work and health reasons.

– Churches will remain closed to worshipers and there will be no outdoor public ceremonies (blessing of the waters) on the day of the Epiphany (January 6). After January 11, worshipers will be allowed to go to church for Sunday services (according to the rules that were in place during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays).

According to Petsas, new coronavirus cases in Greece are at high levels and the pressure on the country’s health system continues.

At the end of the second week of January, the epidemiological situation in the country will be evaluated and new announcements will be made for Greece’s other sectors of social and economic activity.
Source:GTP pages

Businesses closing until Jan. 11 will not pay months rent.
The ministry of finance decision came after the government announced a seven-day closure of all businesses that were allowed to open during the holidays.

It concerns businesses in the retail sector, the arts, sports, tourism, transportation services, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.

An 80 pct of the agreed rent will be compensated to legal owners of commercial premises from the state budget.

In the case of legal entities who own commercial properties, the compensation is set to 60 pct, the ministry added.
Source:EKathimerini

Work in the harbour continues. A part of the old harbour has been tiled with pillion slate. We think the whole harbour will be tiled this way. Will they continue through the rest of the harbour? Will the harbour be off limits for cars? Interesting developments…

More pedestrian room along the water too.

Let’s wait and see what new surprises the Greek government will have for us after the 11th of January.

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Enjoy being together!

Dear readers,

A very personal Christmas message from our family to you all. I feel that this year especially we need to focus on the people around us, the family, friends, acquaintances and people we do not know well but whom we can greet or talk to in these difficult times. Do something special just make them smile!

News from the UK; All travelers arriving to Greece from the United Kingdom must self-isolate for 7 days as of 6am on Monday, December 21, the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection said on Sunday.

The Greek Health Ministry’s committee of experts for Covid-19 will further evaluate the scientific data on Monday, the general secretariat added in its announcement.

The previously announced measure of a 3-day mandatory quarantine for arrivals to Greece from abroad still applies for arrivals from all other countries.

The new measure involving arrivals from the UK is an addition to existing restrictions. All incoming travelers are still obliged to submit a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR) performed up to 72 hours before arrival in Greece. They must also take a mandatory rapid Covid-19 test upon entry.

The mandatory quarantine rule for incoming travelers is among the government’s latest measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Where to self-isolate
According to an aviation directive issued by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Sunday, the self-isolation of travelers from the UK will take place either at their home (for permanent residents) or at the place of temporary residence declared on the PLF, for seven days, unless they remain in Greece for a shorter period, in which case the temporary restriction is valid for that period of time (until their departure).

According to reports, the Greek government took the extra measure for arrivals from the UK, following the call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for extra caution and action due to the mutant strain of the coronavirus found in the UK, which is 70 percent more contagious.

Source: GTP Travel Pages

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Rapid tests results

According to the Skiathos life website all 59 rapid tests that were performed on Skopelos on Friday and Saturday for Covid-19, were negative. Skiathoslife website: rapid Covid-19 tests

Milia beach from above

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The civil protection unit of the Muncipality of Skopelos has just announced that on Friday 18-12-2020 from 14.00 -20.00 hours and Saturday 19-12-2020 from 08.00-10.00 hours you can get a free Covid rapid test at the health center.
What I can gather from other media sources is that it will be “a drive through” testing. Those that want to have the test should drive in their car to the health center and bring their passport/identity paper and their AMKA number. If you want more information call 2424022222 (health center)

The tests will be carried out by a mobile health unit KOMY of the EODY (National Organization for Public Health) in collaboration with the region of Thessaly and the Municipality of Skopelos.

Un going work in the harbor and along the water front.

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The new normal?


(Glysteri yesterday morning, south winds, high waters)

Yesterday was a rainy day here on Skopelos and this weather fitted the mood we are in. The weather plays a big role. Here in Greece and on Skopelos we are in the fifth week of a general lockdown. We try to do things that can lift our spirits but that is not easy all the time. We go back and forth with thoughts and feelings. All gloom and then optimistic. Feeling low and with the first sunshine more energized and ready to take on the world. I think many feel like that. Depending also on how strict a lockdown is installed in their city, village and how their life is affected if you think about work, education etc. This lockdown is different from the first one when everything was new. Now we have to do it again and I feel it is much more difficult the second time.

On Skopelos we have a certain kind of freedom to go out and the meeting of people on streets can be easily avoided, if you want, because there are not a lot of people on the island! If you want to meet people on a beach or in the nature that is also easy because there is hardly anybody around!

We still have two ferryboats and one flying dolphin travelling back and forth to the Sporades and it was just announced yesterday by the ministry of Finance that in order to have them continue this service they will be supported with two million euro until the end of 2020. 2 million euro support for boats

Most “general” shops on the island are closed. If you really need something you can try calling the shop and arrange a “takeaway”. Order the things you need and pick them up. I think it is better than ordering something online. Support the local shops. Yesterday I ordered a pillow and some elastic band. I met with the shop owner (masks on) on a square and I paid her. I asked beforehand what the cost was. New measures have been announced today. More about that in another post.

On Skopelos, with this current situation, restaurants, souvlaki and pizza places do takeaway and so do most coffeeshops. Some deliver at home too. I have told you this before, I know. It is nice to support them, though, in these difficult times.

Will deliveries at home without seeing many people be the new normal? Shopping without many other people? Will the new normal be living and working with only a few people around you for company?

Will the new normal be hesitating before you shake a hand, kiss or hug somebody you know, a family member or a friend? That used to be a spontaneous thing! A normal act. I really hope it will become normal again.

On a lighter note, with so much time on my hands, at home, I am making my own masks. On YouTube there are many people showing us how to make them. After numerous mistakes I have found a good pattern and recognize which kind of fabric I need to use. I am using a firmer kind of fabric for one side and another lighter fabric like sheets, old swimming trunks (yes!) and old couch pillows cases. The new “normal” is having them hanging on our washing line, on my ironing board and in a box on the refrigerator. Ready to be used. Don’t know for how long…

The civil protection office from the municipality yesterday gave this message (see below) directed to all of those who live on Skopelos. They respond to information from the Greek government and questions from the public that have occurred in the last few weeks. (Translated and edited a little by me to make it more clear)

1) The recent two (2) cases of coronavirus patients announced by EODY (National Organization for Public Health) for the Sporades Prefecture do not concern the island of Skopelos.

2) Your concern and questions and their management should always concern us and not only when cases occur.

Note by me: people have complained that it is not just about if there are corona virus patients on the island but also about what is being done, how measures are being followed up. There is no transparency they say.

3) We must not be complacent and always follow the rules of self-protection:
a) social distancing, b) wear a mask, c) clean hands, d) no overcrowding e) no uncontrolled concentrations of people.

4) In this current situation, nobody should panic and be fearful, they should try to preserve self-control, be patient and don’t relax the rules of self protection (see number 3)

5) We would like to inform you that requests from the Municipality of Skopelos to the Ministry of Health and the Region have been sent about the condition of the Health Center and for the needs of medical, nursing staff and the shortages of medical supplies. We also requested the presence of an EODY team on our island.

Note by me: The health center needs help, the building needs to be renovated, there is not enough staff and they need supplies. Many citizens and visitors have helped the health center the last couple of years but funding from the government is necessary and that effort needs to be made by the municipality

Stay well, stay safe everybody!

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All travelers arriving to Greece from abroad between Friday, December 18 and Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, Greek Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced that the government decided to extend the current lockdown measures through to the first week in January 2021 to combat the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

International travel
With regard to international travel, Petsas said that all entering Greece from countries abroad between Friday, December 18 and Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be obliged to:

– submit a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR) performed up to 72 hours before arrival
– take a rapid Covid-19 test upon entry
– enter a 10-day preventive quarantine.

Travelers who test positive for Covid-19 at Greece’s land borders will be denied entrance to the country.

Traveling out of home prefectures is banned. Moreover, Petsas said that traveling between Greek prefectures (domestic travel) will not be allowed until 6am on January 7, 2021.

Movement in the country
Greece’s night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am will remain in place and outside movement in Greece will continue to be allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

The government’s spokesperson noted that one month after Greece entered its second nationwide lockdown, the pressure on the country’s health system remains high, despite the fewer Covid-19 cases in recent days and that the improvement of epidemiological data is proceeding slower than expected.

Source: https://news.gtp.gr/2020/12/07/greece-announces-10-day-quarantine-for-all-arrivals-from-abroad-as-of-december-18/

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We have to stay optimistic and laugh a little sometimes so I posted this music video from Jackson Browne; stay just a little longer. Talking about the lockdown here.

Greece announced on yesterday that it would be extending the country’s second Covid-19 lockdown by a week to 6am on December 14 allowing in meantime the opening of retail stores selling holiday goods/christmas presents etc.

This is the second extension of the containment rules beyond initially announced dates after failure of current measures to bring down the number of daily recorded Covid-19 cases and deaths resulting in increasing pressure on the health care system.

Citing the latest data, Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas said the gradual return to economic and social activity is being pushed back due the number of new infections which was stabilizing or reducing but at a “slower than expected” rate.

Petsas went on to add however that retail shops selling Christmas items will be able to open on exception on December 7. Details on the operation of stores and supermarkets – also allowed to sell seasonal goods – will be announced on Friday.
Source: https://news.gtp.gr/2020/12/03/greece-pushes-second-covid-19-lockdown-december-14/?utm_source=GTP+headlines+list&utm_campaign=8e9599f92b-Headlines+Newsletter+4-12-2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_742e571d31-8e9599f92b-64827381

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