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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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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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Snow

Today it snowed on Skopelos. Important roads were kept open and no real problems occurred. Weather channels report that this situation will not last long. We will see…

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Changes

So the weather in Greece and on Skopelos changed. We have had such wonderful weather so far with nice temperatures but that had changed two days ago. +3 degrees this morning and a little bit of snow on Mount Delphi. Two nights with heavy rain and yesterday during the day this continued too. Today it is cold but we have a sun shining. We are still in lockdown so we think well about our reason to go out of the house and before we send our SMS message. Masks ready and we are ready to go.

The sea is still rough and the shape of the beaches will change again. That is nice, always something interesting to find. More changes in the harbor, the entrance is “under construction”.

Skopelos is mourning the deaths of three relatively young people who died of causes not related to Covid-19. They died in the last three weeks. It must be so hard to say goodbye to your loved ones under these difficult circumstances. Our sincere condolences to their families.


Greece is doing relatively well with trying to get the pandemic under control and that is one of the reasons that tomorrow many retail shops, malls, hairdressers and barbers will reopen their shops again; under strict rules. The amount of people that can enter a shop will me minimized even further so crowding can be avoided. After you send message two you have two hours to shop.
Pre schools and elementary schools have been opened again since last week. Most parents have send their children to attend classes.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis ruled out on Thursday the need for a Covid-19 vaccination certificate for travelers wishing to visit Greece this summer. Read more here, GTP travel pages

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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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Moments


(Stafylos on Tuesday morning 29 December 2020)

I don’t like the day before the New Year. On this day you reflect how the year has been and usually I don’t get a clear picture. I have lived the year and when something worthwhile happened I lived that moment to the fullest at that time. The day before the New Year will not bring those moments back with the same love, enjoyment, sorrow, grief, excitement. So maybe that is what I will think about today and remember of this year; to live more in the moment!

What I hope for in 2021? Less suffering, more kindness in the world and for Skopelos? That parts of its identity; culture, nature and environment get more incorporated in a roadmap for the future of the island. Those that have invested already in drawing that roadmap should participate in the realization of it. Also the landmarks that we have on the island should be accessible for the public.

This guy below gets the kindness and stamina award from me and many others.

Photo: Marios Giannakou

This is long-distance runner Marios Giannakou. In October 2020 he carried student and friend Eleftheria Tosiou on his back all the way to the top of Mount Olympos. Eleftheria is 22 years old and disabled. “There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram, as he reached Mytikas, the peak of Mount Olympos.

He also says “With the end of this difficult year nearby for all of us, I would like to say that every difficulty can be part of a chance to review circumstances, to get stronger and to to try more.

Thank you Marios, you inspire me and I will try more in 2021. To a New Year with many unforgettable wonderful moments. Happy 2021!

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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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Changes


(Sorry, Panormos again)

The mayor of Skopelos announced on Saturday that 190.000 euro is going to be available to repair the road leading to the Agios Konstantinos beach. He also announced that repairs on the roof of the high school of Glossa are finished.

As of Monday a couple of restrictions concerning the lockdown in Greece are being lifted. GTP Travel News has it all written down again so I am borrowing their text again.

Greece Announces Limited Easing of Covid-19 Lockdown Restrictions for Holiday Season

Greek authorities on Friday announced a limited easing of the country’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions for the Christmas and new year holidays.

Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced the following on Friday:

Retailers, from Sunday, December 13, until Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be allowed to operate only under the so-called “click-away” method to accept orders by consumers made online or via telephone. Customers will be allowed to enter stores only to collect their orders. Shopping in retail stores is not allowed. It is also noted that the “click-away” method will not apply to shops in malls, which will remain closed.

Hairdressers and barber shops will operate (only with scheduled appointments) throughout the country as of Monday, December 14, from 7am until 9 pm, under strict measures that include mandatory mask wearing.

Bookstores will reopen throughout the country from Monday, December 14, under strict measures: a maximum of four customers will be allowed in stores up to 100 sq.m. or one customer per 15 sq.m. for stores over 100 sq.m.

Churches will be open to worshipers only on Christmas day (December 25) and on the Epiphany (also called Theofania or Fota) holiday (January 6). During these two days, only nine people will be allowed in churches at the same time and up to 25 people in the Metropolitan churches in all regions of the country will be allowed.

Night curfew in place / Movement only via SMS

Greece will continue to have a night curfew throughout the holiday season. From Sunday, December 13, until January 7, 2021, from 10 pm to 5 am non-essential movement is prohibited. Outside movement will continue to be allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

It is noted that for movements related to picking up “click-away” shopping orders from retail stores and going to hairdressers and bookstores, consumers must send an SMS to option 2.

International travel
All travelers entering Greece from countries abroad between Friday, December 18 and Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be obliged to enter a preventive quarantine for 3 days (reduced from the 10-day quarantine rule that had been previously announced).

Source: GTP travel news

Old photo’s of Skopelos? Look here: LiFo

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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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