News update – Thursday 19th March

Corona virus: Government thinking of stopping all passenger flights to and from Greece from Sunday evening 22nd March
The decision will exclude specific cargo flights for catering and medical supplies.
The government is thinking of halting all passenger flights  from Sunday night, as part of measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The discussion, concerning measures to limit the spread pf the COVID-19 virus,  took place on Thursday morning, 19th March), via teleconference, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Transport Minister Costas Karamanlis, Finance Minister Costas Staikouras and other government officials.

Contacts had been made with the airlines, with Fraport, the CAA and the question was asked whether a day or three should be allowed before flights to and from Greece are stopped.

Certain flights involving catering and medical supplies will reportedly be excluded from the decision.

Final decisions have not yet been made, government sources say, and any decisions will be announced by the Prime Minister.

PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis will address the Greek people again on Thursday afternoon (19/3) and will refer to the latest developments in context with the coronavirus.At the moment of issuing this piece of news neither  time nor content of his TV appearance are known..
Source:  19th March,  last update 19th March 15.04)


5,000 – euro fine for travellers violating quarantine imposal
Greeks and other nationals  flying back to Greece, as a EU-wide temporary restriction of non-essential travel for a period of 30 days comes into force, will have to remain at home for two weeks or face a 5,000-euro fine, according to measures by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Travellers will have to fill in a form stating the address where they will spend the next 14 days along with a contact number.

This information will be forwarded to the information centre set up by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection in Halandri, where staff will conduct  telephone checks to determine whether or not travellers are complying with the quarantine.
The details of the plan are still being worked on.
Source:  19th March


COVID-19 GUIDELINES  in English and Greek on home isolation of suspect cases, issued by the Greek Government.


Greek Government issues « Ten Commandments” for responsible internet use during pandemic
The need to ensure the optimum operation of emergency services during the current period made the Greek Government issue the following ‘Ten Commandments’ for responsible Internet use:

  1. Avoid the use of online entertainment services during digital traffic rush-hours (from 09:00 am to 6:00 pm), to allow telecommunications networks to meet the most demanding needs of communication applications, professional office teamwork and distance learning, which are crucial to a large number of citizens and businesses  and critical to the functioning of the entire economy.
  2. If making a phone call, prefer landline networks instead of cellular networks. This avoids excessive traffic on the mobile telephony infrastructure.
  3. Avoid sending large digital files; if this is not possible, compress them, if technically feasible.
  4. Avoid sending bulk emails.
  5. Avoid unnecessary video calls, not only during rush hours but also at all times.
  6. Take advantage of collaborative teamwork platforms and technologies with colleagues and do not exclusively use dedicated video applications.
  7. Download to your computer only the files necessary and prefer to send a link to the file’s location as opposed to attaching the file itself.
  8. Keep electronic devices up-to-date with the latest versions of their software, following manufacturer’s instructions, and also keep malware and digital virus protection software updated.
  9. Avoid letting children use streaming video platforms and social networks, and instead prompt them towards more creative, hands-on tasks.
  10. Adopt responsible internet etiquette. Consult with the National Public Health Organization’s ( guidelines for the treatment of coronavirus and do not reproduce information or material that lacks scientific documentation.

(Source:, 17th March)


Police arrest people for violating measures to curb coronavirus
Arrests across Greece for violations of measures to prevent and limit the spread of the coronavirus have been further increasing.
According to the Hellenic Police (ΕΛ.ΑΣ: Ελληνική Αστυνομία – Elliniki Astynomia ) 174 people have been arrested all over  Greece since last Tuesday for violating measures introduced by the government aiming at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. 7 arrests in Crete.
Most of the arrested people are owners or managers of hairdressers’ shops, cafes, restaurants and other food retail outlets etc, for which the measure of temporary closure applies.
It is also stated that controls are being continued with intensity to ensure public health. 19th March


The good news of the day:
The first COVID-19 infected woman in Greece gave birth to a healthy baby in the General University Hospital in Attika-Athens.

The first baby from a mother positive for the new coronavirus was born yesterday in  the University Hospital of Attika in Athens. Both, baby and mother, are in good health, according to hospital doctors. The baby was tested for the corona virus and the result of this first test was negative.
Source:   19th March


 Association of Hospital Doctors’ Open Letter to Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis:
“The war requires soldiers and weapons”.
The Hellenic Association of Hospital Doctors OENGE (Ομοσπονδία Ενώσεων Νοσοκομειακών Γιατρών Ελλάδας -ΟΕΝΓΕ) wrote an open letter entitled “Soldiers and Weapons Needed in War” to PM K. Mitsotakis, highlighting the shortcomings, claimed and made concrete proposals to deal with the epidemc:


“Prime Minister,

The individual responsibility necessary to comply with protective measures and also the compliance with the experts’ recommendations and instructions cannot be a substitute for the responsibility of your government to deal with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

You reiterated that in our profession we are at war with an enemy that is invisible but not invincible.

It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to shield the Public Health System as much as possible.

It is your responsibility to provide the front line with all the necessary means to be able to face the enemy and defeat him with as little loss as possible.

One week after you announced 2000 recruitments, how many have you made? What are you waiting for?
In your message you did not make the slightest hint of hiring doctors.

At this very moment, hear the voice of the “hospital fighters” as you called us. Those who do not only have to face the “invisible” enemy, but are confronted daily with the VISUAL, obvious, tragic deficiencies for which you have the sole responsibility. You and your predecessors. The  recruitment of 2000 nursing staff is not enough. You had announced so many in July when we were NOT at war and you didn’t.

It is your responsibility to immediately recruit a massive number of physicians, nurses,  with the priority of staffing the frontline departments of TPP, ICU, EKAB and CS to disband the hospitals.

It is your responsibility, even now, to ensure that health personnel are provided with the necessary personal protective equipment.

You say that you always speak the language of truth. So why don’t you tell the truth?


A spokesman of the Ministry of Health for the coronavirus, Mr Tsiodras, said: “Yes there is an adequacy of reagents for the coronavirus test” but “the goal is not to spend it unnecessarily on asymptomatic patients”.

Assuming the above applies then it is unacceptable and unacceptable to say that “anyone who wants to send a sample through the private sector is free to do so”.

Honestly, we DO NOT understand it.

Suppose only horizontal general measures are applied. In this case:

Do you or do you not have the responsibility if you do not ban anyone who wishes to do so in private laboratories, without any scientific evidence?

If the test is performed in the private sector during the incubation period, it is falsely negative and the asymptomatic or mild clinical patient considers that he / she has not been infected with coronavirus and does not take the necessary precautions, is there a risk of spread or not?

You will or will not be fully responsible for both the dispersal and the “unnecessary waste” of the quantity of reagents available if you do not make the decision to charge the entire quantity of reagents in the private sector and do not ensure that the test is absolutely free of charge and only if there is an indication?


Very good kit and reagent adequacy must be ensured.

The tests must be carried out absolutely free of charge with the sole responsibility of the official state bodies.

In any case, the only one that serves: “anyone who wishes (without instructions) to go private”, is the speculation of large private diagnostic centers and clinics.

The times are difficult. Listen to the voice of those who you wanted to silence yesterday because they highlighted shortcomings, claimed and made concrete proposals.

Mr Mitsotakis, give us coronavirus masks, not ‘mute’  so that we do not to speak up.

Mr Mitsotakis, what we need right now, first and foremost, is not “a financial consideration” that you implied you would give us.

In the battle against the “invisible enemy” we need:

SOLDIERS (enough permanent staff),
(respirators and ICU beds – intensive care unit beds),
personal protective equipment for health-workers).
We are claiming these to deal with the epidemic.

Source: 19th March 10.42


I'm Austrian living in Tavronitis, love nature, music, good books, sunsets, the sea, travelling, socializing and more. I came to Crete as a student in the early 70s, exploring the west and southwest of the island with friends by motorbike. When you are young everything is important and, there are lots of things to do...I did. Job, family,children, travelling the world. But I never lost my love for Crete for a minute. And seven years ago I ended up in this convenient corner of Crete, not only for holidays, but to stay and haven't regretted it for a minute.