Leaders in Greece announced Saturday that music will be banned around the clock until the end of the month on the popular tourist island of Mykonos in response to an increase in COVID cases, which could decimate industry for the island’s tourism-reliant economy.
The ban on music was announced by Greece’s Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias.
“We call on the residents, visitors and professionals of our beautiful island to faithfully observe the measures, as well as the authorities of the island to immediately activate the information and control mechanisms of their observance, so that soon the spread of the virus and Mykonos is controlled and limited,” Hardalias said in a news release.
The island will also initiate a traffic curfew from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. daily, unless such travel is for work or for visits to a hospital, until July 26.
Reuters reported Mykonos is a popular destination for the wealthy and famous.
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 17, 2021
The ban on music and other activities drew condemnation from Mykonos’ Mayor Konstantinos Koukas.
“Mykonos is the only island where music will not be heard,” he wrote on Facebook, adding that “the only thing that will succeed is for the visitors to just get an incentive to go to other islands.”
“From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have stated that the main priority of all is the protection of public health, and we have served this consistently and seriously,” he added. “We have always cooperated with all the competent Authorities, we have helped in the implementation of the health protocols, we have actively supported the Health Center, we have provided with the necessary means of protection those who were in need.”
“It is a fact that in recent days there has been an increase in cases mainly of younger ages, but a number of other parameters should be taken into account, such as that many tests on our island are performed on visitors who did not stay in Mykonos, but used Mykonos airport for their return,” Koukas wrote.
Reuters reported that tourism makes up roughly one-fifth of the Greek economy.
Condé Nast Traveller just this past week referred to the gorgeous Mediterranean location as the “Greek party island.”
— Condé Nast Traveller (@cntraveller) July 14, 2021
“Known as the party island of the super-rich, Mykonos is one of Greece’s most popular destinations, attracting more than a million visitors each summer, among them Hollywood stars, models and world-famous athletes,” Reuters noted of the beautiful island destination.
The effects of the move could be devastating for Mykonos, which is in the middle of the tourism season.
The rationale behind the music ban is that those in restaurants or resort bars might have to talk over one another, which officials said might increase the chance for new COVID infections as people come closer together.
“Our Municipal Authority operated with seriousness, responsibility and composure and always with respect to the national effort and the laws of the state,” Koukas concluded in his Facebook post. “But here there is also failure and injustice. A mistake that leads nowhere. And it needs to be fixed right away.”
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