Archive for the ‘Corona virus’ Category


Latest news: As of Monday the 22nd of March the curfew will change from 21.00 hours until 05.00 hours, hair dressers and beauty salons will open again. It will be possible to visit archeological sites and public parks under certain circumstances. Amateur fishing is allowed again and it will be possible for everybody (every week, once) to get a rapid test from the pharmacy for free.

The last couple of days the amount of Covid19 patients in Greece is rising but the government is trying to speed up the vaccination rate but a shortage of vaccines does not help. Greece has administered at least 1,345,735 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 6.3% of the country’s population.
(Source: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/greece/)

From graphic.reuters.com: This vaccine rollout data is reported by the number of doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, not the number of people who have been vaccinated. Because most vaccines require two doses and many countries have different schedules to deliver the second dose, we don’t know with this data how many people have ultimately received both doses.

Tuesday was a wonderful day with a lot of sunshine. I decided to take a walk because you have to get out of the house don’t you? And then I “stumbled” on this lot.

Little snips of information and moments in the day made it even a better day.

I heard from a non-Greek friend who owns a house here that he will get his first vaccination next week on Skopelos. He is over 70. I went to the KEP office and talked with Joanna there. She told me that if that somebody does not turn up or cannot get his/her vaccine, there is a list of first responders on the island that can get the vaccine that would otherwise go to waste. Non-Greeks that are younger than 70 cannot get the shots yet unless there is a very serious health threat and you have to talk with the Health center about that. Joanna expects that with more vaccines coming (The Astra Zeneca for instance) the age that somebody can get a vaccine might drop down below 60 in May. We will have to see. Visitors are coming to the island and many people like to get vaccinated before they arrive. Those that are coming also do not want to quarantine so the Greek government might change some of the restrictions after the 22nd of March. This article was published today:

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday confirmed that Greece will open this year for tourists as of mid-May and said he expects travel to pick up significantly during the summer.

Speaking to CNN, the Greek PM said the safety of visitors is Greece’s absolute priority and that he expects the country to have a much better tourism season in 2021.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure that visitors come to Greece in the most safe way. We have in place all the necessary protocols to ensure that they will get the full Greek experience without any real compromises… If we did it last year, we will certainly do it much better this year now that we have additional tools at our disposal,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the European Commission’s official proposal on establishing a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate travel in Europe.

Source: GTP travel news

It is still possible to find shells on the beach. This one I found on Limnonari. It was connected but cracked when I picked it up.

Some winds on Skopelos do not cause waves but ripples on the water. It is very beautiful!

Having hope is something that helps you make it through the day. It allows you to make plans for the future. A brighter future for all. Have a nice weekend everybody!

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(Καλές 2018/ The carnival parade called Kales in 2018 portraying a wedding with cross dressing)

And now it is Sunday again. I am amazed of how quick some of these weeks in quarantine go by and I really have to make an effort to remember what we were doing last year around this time. Last year around this time we were getting an idea that this virus was a serious one and the planned celebrations relating to carnival were already postponed. The last Sunday of carnival on Skopelos we celebrate the tradition called Καλές/ Kales.

A big group of people dress up, many in traditional Skopelitan costumes/dresses etc. and join in a wedding procession. The costumes/dresses etc. are owned by the municipality and kept in store for special occasions. For cultural festivities like the carnival procession but many other cultural events like the dance festivals organized on Skopelos, cultural organizational but also individuals can ask if they can wear a costume and you are instructed how to wear them.

I have participated twice and I am thankful that I am allowed.


The people in the parade sing, dance and go through the town and stop at every square to show off. Locals from the neighborhood present them with drinks and rice pudding. Usually the bride is a man and the groom a woman.

Now we are one year further and we have lived through so much, people have suffered and are suffering but hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe we will be able to join each other in festivities like carnival on Skopelos soon.

The fact that we have this vast space around us on Skopelos and that we are able (within some limits) to enjoy it is very precious.

Greece hopes to fully open up its borders on the 14th of May but many people have stated in a poll that they will only travel if they do not have to quarantine. Travelling with a negative Covid-19 test or a “passport” with evidence of vaccination should make the travelling easier. Airlines are slowly, slowly showing their intentions to fly to Skiathos and of course Athens and Thessaloniki already have flights coming in from abroad. Everybody in this industry and the government should cooperate and have information ready on what is expected of the travelers so they don’t have the anxiety whilst travelling that they might be stopped and put in quarantine and are not able to reach their destination.

And tomorrow it is clean Monday. Shops will be open for a while and most people will then find a place with their family where they will be able to fly their kites. It is an old tradition and much fun for the children. The food we have in the house we will try to cook and the house will be “clean” so we can get ready for the fasting period before Easter. Will we be able to fast for so many days? We will see….

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In efforts to ensure that everyone living in Greece can get vaccinated against Covid-19, Greek authorities are making efforts to issue a temporary AMKA number to all foreigners and uninsured individuals. This information comes following a recent amendment/addition to a draft law of the Ministry of Development and Investment on Thursday.

Participation in the current Covid-19 vaccination procedure requires an 11-digit social security number (AMKA).

The form to obtain a temporary AMKA number is expected to launch in the near future.

At the moment, those who do not have an AMKA number (or have one but is being rejected by the system) can obtain advice after filling out a form on the government’s emvolio.gov.gr vaccination platform.

1) Select option that says: Αν δεν διαθέτετε ΑΜΚΑ παρακαλούμε ακολουθήστε τις οδηγίες εδώ

2) Fill in the form:

a) Last name (Επώνυμο)
b) First name (Όνομα)
c) Father’s name (Πατρώνυμο)
d) Identification document number (Αριθμός εγγράφου ταυτοποίησης)
e) Type of identification document (Είδος εγγράφου ταυτοποίησης) and choose one of the following:
– ID card (Ταυτότητα)
– Passport (Διαβατήριο)
– European Health Insurance Card (Ευρωπαϊκή Κάρτα Ασφάλισης)
f) AMKA number (for those who have and cannot log into system)
g) Tax number (ΑFΜ), if you have one (Αριθμό Φορολογικού Μητρώου – ΑΦΜ)
h) Telephone number (Τηλέφωνο επικοινωνίας)
i) E-mail address (Εmail επικοινωνίας)
j) Press Submit (Υποβολή)

All requests will be reviewed and instructions on obtaining a temporary AMKA number should follow.

Source: GTP travel news

Ask your local KEP office for more information. You might get it done there.

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Being in a hard lockdown and in a life that has a lot of restrictions makes most days look the same, sometimes I cannot remember what day it is and that is sad. We therefore have to try to remember the historical/cultural landmarks on the calendar. Today in Greece we celebrate Tsiknopempti /charred Thursday. Today is supposed to be the last day that a lot of Greeks will eat meat until Easter.

So we cleaned the BBQ, bought some meat, made a salad, tzaziki on the side and on the terrace, in the sun we celebrated Tsiknopempti. Χρόνια πολλά και του χρονού! Oh yes and a galaktoboureko popped out of the oven too!!

Fasting for many will start tomorrow and it includes not eating meat, diary, eggs and sometimes olive oil too. Tsiknopempti is also a day that people can act silly, dress up, walk around the village with with masks and have their faces painted with charcoal. That is something that only can happen if we keep a distance. A silly mask we can wear I hope!

Express Skiathos ferryboat will start sailing again tomorrow. Proteus will stop for now. We thank the crew for their hard work in keeping up with the rules during these trying times. On Sundays Express Skiathps will not sail.

Greece has passed the 1.000.000 point of vaccinations Prime minister Mitsotakis announced today.

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Over 75 years

All citizens of Skopelos that are over 75 years old can now get vaccinated against Covid-19. Non-Greeks that have a residence permit and a tax number and/or a Greek social security number (AMKA) can go to the KEP office opposite the harbor and make and appointment. I was just called about it by Joanna Vasiloudis, the representative of the KEP organisation on Skopelos.

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Coming to Greece

Yesterday it snowed on the island and today we were sitting on the beach in the sun. What a life!!

Greece will Welcome Travelers with Negative Covid-19 Test or Vaccination Certificate. See the rest of the article below:
GTP travel news

Today I heard from a friend on the island that she booked her vaccine dates with the local pharmacy. We have three pharmacies as you know. One on the Platanos square, one off the Platanos square and one opposite the Health center. Except for the KEP office it is also possible to book the dates there when you are in the right age group that are allowed to be vaccinated.

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The amount of corona virus patients is rising again in certain parts of Greece and this forces the Greek government to take separate measures for certain regions. Lockdown restrictions in Athens and the surrounding Attica region will get tougher as of tomorrow, Thursday, February 11, and will last until the end of the month. Schools closed except for special schools, tutoring via the internet again, retail shops closed again, hair dressers etc. too. A curfew on weekdays from 21.00 hours until 05.00 hours and a tough curfew in the weekend starting from 18.00 until 05.00 hours in the morning.

Ferryboat Express Skiathos has stopped running and ferryboat Proteus has taken over as of Sunday the 7th of February. Those that travel and arrive or leave the harbor will see that the biggest part of the entrance of the harbor is ready.

The weather will change radically in the weekend. We might have snow too.

Source: https://www.meteo.gr/cf-en.cfm?city_id=230

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Don’t give up

(Windy day at Agnondas on Saturday)

A couple of days ago I had a video chat with a friend of mine. She caught the corona virus last year in the workplace and she had it bad. High fever, unbearable headaches, not able to eat, fuzziness in the head, forgetting things, very thirsty all the time, fatigue and loss of taste buds were some of the symptoms. Recovery is slow and she told me a thing that shocked me very much. “If I did not have the support of my family and friends I probably would have given up”

Psychologically it was very, very hard for her. The support she got through help, messages, cards, calls etc. helped her pull through. I had not realized how low you can be when something like this happens to you and how important it is to have support. The support is not only for those who are sick but also for the people that are by themselves and lonely in this very difficult time. The families that just had a child and have not been able to see other families with newborns, cannot go out to playgrounds etc. Families that have children that need to learn via e-learning, that are living in a small apartment without outside space. How lucky we are to live on Skopelos with these vast spaces around us. My thoughts after our conversation are that I never stop learning, does not matter how old I am. We can make a difference in somebody’s life with small things. We just have to do it.

(View towards Amarandos on Saturday morning)

Greece has been divided in yellow and red zones again because there are certain areas in the country that have more Covid patients than other areas. In the yellow zones high-schools will open again as of tomorrow, the first of February. The link to the measures that will be in place is GTP travel pages

The beach of Limnonari had a lot of garbage on it. Somebody, I don’t know who, decided to clean it thoroughly. Looking good now!!

Stay well, stay safe everybody. Have a nice Sunday. Tomorrow a new month starts, we are slowly going towards spring!

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Is it winter or spring? One day we have very strong winds that change the shape of all the beaches, like Glysteri yesterday.

This morning it was snowing for a little while and now the sun is shining.

Digea, the digital service provider, that makes sure that we have a clear tv signal, has announced that we need to retune our televisions on the 5th of February in the Sporades and some areas around it like Evia. Here is the link with the directions.

Today Skopelos has started to vaccinate the first, over 80 years old, citizens on the island. Skiathos and Alonissos did too. The photo below shows the head of the Health center Mrs. Regina Sklavos and the vice mayor Mr. Aristidis Voulgaris today (photo received from municipality press release ) The next people that will be vaccinated on the island are the first responders and municipal employees.

I think that the islands that are dependent on tourism will try and vaccinate their population quicker than the rest of the country. They will be ready to receive visitors, whenever that will be. We will see.

Stefano Psimenos is the founder of Terrain. It is a Greek cartographic company, founded in 2008. Stefanos is a travel writer and cartographer with a long experience in the field. His company has created a series of maps of Greece with unique features.

This week Stefano visited Skopelos again and met up with Heather Parsons who has cleared and tracked numerous trails on Skopelos. Their cooperation will hopefully put Skopelos, literally, on the map as a destination worth visiting because of its beautifully tended, interesting trails.

The photo above and below are from the last Skopelos Scramblers walk (before quarantine) It was my first walk with Muriel and Jim and it was so much fun. We met Jannis and his girlfriend with their mule and goat and we had a wonderful picknick. Hopefully we can do this again soon.

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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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