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Spring is here and everywhere I see colorful flowers, big and small. The poppies enchant me the most. So vibrant and fragile and the bees love them soo much!

There is a new possibility to sign up for the vaccination against Covid-19. Ages between 18 and 59. You can sign up until Friday the 23rd of April at KEP offices and the offices of the municipality. It is for Greeks and Non-Greeks.
After signing up you will be called by the Skopelos health center (the number can be a private number) You will be asked to come in for the first shot and after that you will receive a message on your phone for the second one (Pfizer)

At the KEP etc. Give your surname and name, your AMKA and a telephone number. If you don’t have AMKA try KEP for a temporary one.
KEP Skopelos: 2424029064
Social office municipality Skopelos: 2424023294
KEP Glossa: 2424034480
For Elios via the vice mayor Stamatoula Koukorini-Fivga 6983717851

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vaccinations and tests

The “protection of citizens” office from the municipality has contacted me to inform everybody that as of tomorrow, Friday the 16th of April you can get contacted by the Health center of Skopelos to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

All those (Greek and non-Greeks) that have signed up will get a call or an SMS message. The call will probably from the number 2424022222.

Please be prepared to meet their schedule

I have had several questions from travelers asking me if there is a possibility to have a Covid-19 rapid test and/or a molecular test done on Skopelos? The answer is yes.

The countries that you are travelling too can have different demands for which test so make sure you know what is needed. The rapid test you receive is quicker and is cheaper. The molecular test (PCR) takes longer and is more expensive.

Biomedical diagnostic laboratory of Alexandra Polyzou-Pournara

2424024555 (In the street to the left of the Platanos square close to the harbor)

Microbiology laboratory of Lina lemonis

2424024131 ( In the street to the left of the Platanos square close to the harbor)

Cosmohealth private polyclinic Skopelos

2424024500 (On the ring road next to supermarket Lemonis, in the former building of the tax office)

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The organizing team of the first annual Skopelos trail race would like to inform you of the new event date which now shall be held on Sunday the 5th of September 2021. Given the current climate there has been a need for many local races to reschedule dates and as a result these changes have affected are schedule. 

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Before Friday

In a press release from the civil protection office of the municipality, that I received, it says that those that would like to get vaccinated against Covid-19 should tell KEP or the Social department of the municipality in the different areas on Skopelos. You have until Friday at 14.00 hours. When there is a new opportunity to sign in, we will be notified.

ΕΚΤΑΚΤΗ ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ
Όσοι επιθυμείτε να εμβολιαστείτε έχετε τη δυνατότητα να το δηλώσετε στον
κατάλογο των εμβολιασμών εως την Παρασκευή 9-4-2021 και ώρα 14:00μμ.
Εαν υπάρξουν νέες εγγραφές θα ενημερωθείτε με νέα ανακοίνωση.
ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΠΡΟΣΤΑΣΤΙΑ ΔΗΜΟΥ ΣΚΟΠΕΛΟΥ

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April

Megalo Pefko beach

As of today retail stores in Greece will re-open to consumers. The opening of these shops will be under COVID-secure guidelines. The government decided to make adjustments to the existing measures, in an aim to address the lockdown fatigue that citizens are facing. In the cities of Thessaloniki, Kozani and the area of Achaia the shops will not open. There are too many Covid-19 patients there.

How consumers can shop

More specifically, all retail stores in the country will be open as of today, Monday, April 5, with a three-hour limit per shopper so as to avoid crowding. To go shopping, citizens must send an SMS with a special code (13032)

All retail stores will be operating by both “click away” and “click in shop” methods. The rest of the article is here: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/03/31/shops-greece-re-open-under-covid-19-guidelines/

I know that Americans are really looking forward to come to Skopelos. Here is an article about how they can travel: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/04/02/fully-vaccinated-americans-do-not-need-to-quarantine-after-travel-say-new-cdc-guidelines/

On Saturday we visited a beach that , to our knowledge, was not reachable by car before now. It is called Μεγαλο/Big Πεφκο/Pefko. It is the next beach after Kastani. The road to the beach is longer and is still under construction. The beach is still completely natural. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Anybody that wants to get vaccinated can go to the KEP office. Here you give your details and with you AMKA number you will be electronically able to get the shot(s) You will not make the appointment there but you are in the registered in the Health system and especially for the vaccine shots. For this you can also go to the office of the social department of the municipality where Mrs. Maria Persisis and Mrs. Katherina Lithadioti work. It is two doors to the right from the KEP door. Very soon there will be more information about those foreigners that don’t have a AMKA (Greek social security number) but want to get vaccinated. It will be possible for them also to get vaccinated.

The central road along the harbor in Skopelos has now been lifted with a layer of cement. I think tiles will be placed on the same level with the sidewalks after this. It will be interesting to learn and see how the traffic in this area will be regulated. No streets with traffic (cars and motor bikes racing up and down the streets) and more possibilities for pedestrians to shop and sit outside nice coffee places and restaurants. Yes I am in!

Mrs. Sue Warren keeps surprising us with more interesting information about the flora of Skopelos with her blog “the wild flowers of Skopelos”

Here is her latest post about: Apiaceae; named for the bees http://www.wildflowersofskopelos.org.uk/Blog.html

We have a saying in Dutch which is: April doet wat hij wil/April does what it wants and the last few days have been an example of that. Really nice weather, around 25 degrees Celsius on Saturday and today a windy, miserable, rainy day. It will get better, I am sure!

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Today I received a announcement from the municipality which says that a request to the ministry of interior and civil protection to have as many people on the island vaccinated before the summer season starts, has been granted.

Below is the announcement:

The Municipality of Skopelos and the civil protection service are pleased to inform you that the document sent to the Ministry of Civil Protection and the Ministry of Interior with the request that all residents who wish to be vaccinated before the summer because of the start of the summer season, has been granted. 
Today we and the health center of Skopelos received a positive response.
Fellow citizens from 18 years old up to 59 years old will be able to get vaccinated against covid-19. 
1. The vaccination program concerns: 
a) those who wish to be vaccinated from 18 years to 59 years. 
b) the permanent residents of our island Greeks and foreigners. 
2. The vaccination will take place at the Health Center of our island with an appointment. The exact method will  be announced in time. 
3. The registration details in the vaccination lists will include: 
-Surname 
-Name 
-ΑΜΚΑ 
-Contact telephone number 
For the citizens who live in the community of Skopelos, the registration will be done daily at the Community Center or at the KEP during opening hours: 
Κ.Ε.Π. Skopelos 24240-29064 
Skopelos Municipality Community Center 24240-23294 

For the citizens who live in the community of Glossa, the registration will be done daily in the KEP during opening hours: 
Κ.Ε.Π. Glossa 24240-34480 

For the citizens who live in the community of Neos Klima/Elios the registration will be done daily at the deputy mayor’s office: Koukorini-Fyvga Stamatoula 6983717851 

We hope for your response so that the island becomes COVID-FREE and welcomes visitors in the summer of 2021.

Municipality of Skopelos

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Various news

On Sunday we visited the area around Saint Nikolaos church. This church lies very close to the cliffs/rocks in the older part of the town. A part of those cliffs/rocks were damaged and the whole area above them was in danger of falling down on the beach below. The municipality found money to build supporting walls and now the whole area looks safe, fresh and beautiful again. It was amazing to see how these walls were build, not an easy task at all!

We were hoping that the road to Perivoliou would be finished by now but whilst driving on it this weekend we saw what a major task this is. The whole road has been widened and leveled out in many placed. In the corners of roads where flooding could occur, small dams and big pipes have been placed so water can flow away without damaging too much. It looks amazing so far. There is still a lot to do though.

Those that want to visit Greece might be thinking: ” what about the Greek people, will they be vaccinated when I come and visit?” What I gather is that in April there will be more vaccines available to the lower age groups. They probably will also be vaccinated before summer really begins and tourism workers in Greece are among those that will be obliged to test for the coronavirus once a week, as part of the Greek government’s Covid-19 self-testing scheme expected to begin in April.

The announcement was made by Greek Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis during Friday’s Covid-19 media briefing. The rest of the article is here. https://news.gtp.gr/2021/03/26/greek-tourism-workers-test-covid-19-every-week/

Many more birds are around on Skopelos then a month ago. The hoopoe bird/ Τσαλαπετεινός we have seen many times besides the roads so far and their funny feathers both on their head and tails makes us laugh every time.

On Wednesday at 18.00 hours it is possible to see and hear the conversation with the municipality and interested parties (in Greek) about proposals for the operation and use of the port of Skopelos area. At the moment pavements and road are being layered with stone and I gather that it would not be possible to go to certain areas in the port ( mainly with cars and motorbike I think) without a license, a pass and the hours that you would like to go there will also be limited. An interesting development. This is one of the links to use: https://www.efimerida-sporades.com/

There are a lot of red jellyfish on most beaches at the moment. Be careful when you go swimming. At the moment Glysteri is one of the few beaches/sea that does not have them. The sting of this jellyfish is very painful. A lot of them are also in the harbor.

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How time flies

Tonight is the night. Finally we can put the clock an hour ahead. At 03.00 hour it is official. Summertime at last.

There was not enough time for the owner of restaurant Flisvos restaurant in Loutraki , Jannis Kadartzis. He died yesterday unfortunately of cancer. He was 63 years old. I know many people who will miss him.

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Hope

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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Comments and a dragon

I have turned off the comments possibility for the 180 days in Greece post. I feel that the blog has served a purpose by showing people that there is a space where they can discuss this issue and maybe find a solution. People that disagree can do this on other pages, in private discussions etc. We have heard various opinions the last two days and some comments are getting personal which was not the intention of the post. It was about a situation that people who love Greece and want to stay longer are trying to change. I feel that the possibility of people staying long/longer in Greece will benefit Greece in some way or another and that is only positive. I am a permanent resident for 25 years here on Skopelos and I am thankful I do not find myself in the situation of “securing” my stay here. I realize I am lucky and for ever grateful I can work and live here. I do not take it for granted, ever!

​I went to the Drakontoschisma area.

There is a Skopelos myth saying that: many years a dragon appeared on Skopelos, who would kill and eat many people. When Saint Riginos learned about this, he decided to try and kill it. Pretending to be a sailor, he got on a ship going to the island. When he disembarked, he asked: Where for the mercy=Eleos of God is the monster? The place he stepped foot on was named Elios. The dragon was lured towards the area with the rocks and the sea and there it was killed. The rocks were torn=schisma and the place was later called drakontoschisma= dragon’s schism.

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