Covid: How reckless British teenagers may have spread coronavirus on Greek holiday islands – Steve Cardownie

A Greek restaurant owner told Steve Cardownie that young British tourists were ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks shortly before quarantine restrictions were imposed on some islands by the UK.

By Steve Cardownie
Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Unlike these travellers, some young British tourists were failing to wear face masks and may have contributed to a rise in cases on islands in Greece (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)
Unlike these travellers, some young British tourists were failing to wear face masks and may have contributed to a rise in cases on islands in Greece (Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

I recently spent a week on the island of Zakinthos and returned prior to quarantine rules being introduced (before you reach for your laptop it can all be checked) and had the opportunity to witness first hand how Covid-19 was being dealt with and how the hospitality sector in particular was faring there.

All the bars, restaurants and shops were operating under similar rules to those applying in Edinburgh and the number of visitors, particularly from the UK, was steadily increasing.

Bars and restaurants were beginning to repair some of the damage to the local economy and were doing their best to offset previous losses, with tourists benefitting from an extra warm welcome from the locals.

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However, there was one matter which was giving cause for concern and that was the behaviour of some younger tourists who were throwing caution to the wind by ignoring mask wearing and social distancing.

One restaurant owner said that these tourists were threatening his livelihood by raising the prospect of quarantine rules being applied in the UK due to a rise in Covid-19 cases on the island and he was angry that young British tourists in particular were spreading the virus among themselves (citing the party-goers in Laganas as an example) and then returning home with the virus, potentially prompting the UK nations to take action as a result.

And so it has come about. The inconsiderate behaviour of some selfish individuals has ensured that the Greek hospitality and tourist sector is taking another hammering.

Talk about throwing up on the welcome mat!

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