The Greek island of Mykonos has banned music and singing in bars and imposed a nighttime curfew a day after four England football players were filmed belting out ‘Sweet Caroline’ at an island restaurant.
Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Luke Shaw were seen singing along to the team’s European Championships anthem while dining alongside other holiday makers on the island known as a getaway of choice for the super-rich.
But following a "worrying" local outbreak of Covid 19, Greece’s Civil Protection Ministry said it was banning music on the island around the clock, including in shops, cafes and beach bars, and imposed a 1 a.m to 6 a.m curfew.
Mykonos’s Mayor Konstantinos Koukas called the move "unfair" and "misguided." "Mykonos cannot be the only island where music won’t be heard… the only thing this will achieve is that visitors will go to another island," he wrote on Facebook.
What a team 🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/OKy9bjKbad
— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) July 17, 2021
It followed further woe for holidaymakers after the British government tightened travel restrictions for those returning from France.
French lawmakers condemned the changes as “ludicrous” and unscientific.
Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, who is also on the EU’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, said that the decision to make British travellers quarantine on their return to the UK from France was "very difficult to understand" and that it may have been motivated by “geopolitics and revenge”
“I mean that I do not understand the reason, because the beta variant is not an issue, so I am looking for reasons” she told the Telegraph. "Maybe it is a lack of confidence in France,” she said.
“It is crazy to put these restrictions on many, many British citizens who want to come back home and see their families. Many mixed Franco-British families are very confused with this last minute change.
“Maybe it is a misunderstanding of geography. Reunion is 10,000 kilometers from France’s mainland,” she said, referring to the Indian Ocean island that has seen France’s greatest increase in the Beta variant.
Alexandre Holroyd, an MP from Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party, called the decision “absolutely ludicrous."
“0% percent science, 100% politics = hundreds of thousands of family holidays ruined at a time when more needed than ever. Vaccines work & quarantine for fully vaccinated is a disastrous message,” he wrote on Twitter.
Travellers queue at UK Passport control at Calais Ferry Terminal to return to the UK
Credit: Kiran Ridley/Getty
The British government said late on Friday that anyone travelling to France would be compelled to do 10 days in quarantine on their return to the UK, citing concern at the spread of the Beta variant of the virus which first emerged in southern Africa.
According to the latest figures from GISAID, which tracks the spread of different variants around the world, the Beta variant only currently represents 3.4 percent of France’s daily average of 5,000 new Covid cases.
The majority of those cases come from Reunion, where officials have declared a state of emergency and islanders are under an 11pm curfew to help stop the spread of the highly contagious variant.
In mainland France, however, the number of new Beta cases remain low and have even been stable over the last four weeks.
The director of the port of Calais said the move would have immediate impact on cross-Channel tourist traffic
Jean Marc Puissesseu Real, director of the port of Calais, said he was “saddened” by the move that would have an inevitable impact on tourist traffic.
“We were hoping Boris Johnson would switch France from amber to green,” he said. “So yes it is a surprise, especially since everyday we have more and more people who are vaccinated, and the new virus is not spreading as much here as it is in your country,” he said.
“We lost 30 million euros last year because of the pandemic, because there were no tourists coming through, and this year was the same. We were hoping for holiday maker traffic to pick up before the end of the year, but after this decision that’s not a fact, so we are very sad about this,” he added.
The French foreign ministry on Saturday tightened restrictions for unvaccinated Britons entering the country.
The rules, which came into effect at midnight last night/SUNDAY, require unvaccinated travellers entering France from Britain to acquire a negative PCR test within 24 hours of departure, rather than the current requirement of 48 hours.
The new rule also affects Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and the Netherlands. Travellers from those countries currently have a 72 hour window to take a test.
Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt.
France also said on Saturday would add AstraZeneca’s Indian-manfactured vaccine to its list of approved vaccines. The move followed an outcry over the fact the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate currently only recognizes AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe.