Ionian Dolphin Project IDP; update on COVID-19

29 June 2020

The situation in Greece

Greece’s government acted extremely quickly in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.  As of 29 June 2020, there have been 3,376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 191 deaths[1].   The country was locked down until May, but many restrictions are now lifted.

TRAVELERS TO GREECE are required to fill A Passenger Locator Form (PLF), which will have to be completed online at least 48 hours before entering the country, including information such as the duration of previous stays in other countries. The form, as well as details on what foreign travelers can expect arriving from air, sea and land as of July 1 can be found on the link https://travel.gov.gr

A very useful website set-up by the EU with updated information when traveling to any EU country is https://reopen.europa.eu/en Those coming to Greece may want to have a look at it. SAFE TRAVELS!!

Advice for those travelling to Greece

  • All public means of transport (Metro, Suburban Rail, Urban & InterCity Bus services) are in normal operation at present.
  • The use of disposable or reusable fabric masks is mandatory on the Metro (subway) and all other forms of public transportation, including taxis, shuttle buses, and other tourist vehicles. Face masks must also be worn in shops and other enclosed spaces. The fine for not using a mask where required is €150.
  • The 5m safety distance applies for parks and public gardens, where the use of masks is advised. Social distancing measures are in effect until further notice. Although masks are locally available, project participants are encouraged to bring with them enough masks to be covered during their stay in Greece.
  • Bars, cafes and restaurants started operating open-air premises only but, from Saturday 6 June, they can use their indoor spaces for customers with some limitations (one person per 2.2 square meters (23.7 sq. ft.) of usable space is allowed and no more than six customers per table).
  • If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough, stay indoors and immediately seek medical attention by contacting the National Public Health Organization at phone number 1135.

Links:

National Public Health Organization of Greece

https://eody.gov.gr/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-travellers/

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19-pandemic

[1] For daily updates check the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control at https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea

Measures taken by the Tethys Research Institute – IDP

(these may me amended depending on the evolution of the situation and advice by health authorities)

Please note that all of the measures are subject to change. Measures not listed here may be implemented if this is deemed necessary. We will be starting our research season and welcoming our first project participants from 5th July.

The key measures that will be implemented by the IDP are listed below:

  • IDP headquarters will be cleaned and disinfected by a local company following protocols developed by Greek health authorities before the arrival of a new group of project participants (i.e., weekly);
  • All areas must be well ventilated and there will be always access to running water and soap to allow good hygiene practice;
  • Face masks will be required inside of the field base whenever participants will be working together if the minimum safety distance of 1.5 m cannot be maintained (project participants should bring their own masks; we recommend to use washable and re-usable cloth face masks https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/cloth-face-coverings-information.pdf)
  • The best and most consistent way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus—and reducing risk of contracting it— remains washing your hands with soap and water as a first choice, and avoiding touching your face as much as possible (use of gloves should not replace hand washing!);
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers will be also distributed in different areas of the IDP field base (project participants are encouraged to bring also some of their own);
  • A dishwasher reaching high temperatures to guarantee complete disinfection is available on site. Any occasional dishwashing by hand will be done with running hot water and wearing gloves with antibacterial dish soap;
  • The distribution of beds will guarantee a distance of at least 1.5m with other participants;
  • Participants are kindly required to bring their own bedsheets and towels (laundry facilities are locally available);
  • The IDP research boat is an open deck spacious 7.2 m long RIB (rigid inflatable boat) equipped with an outboard Yamaha 200 HP 4 strokes engine. While onboard there will be a constant natural ventilation and crew members will be able to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5m between them;
  • When using the IDP vehicle everybody (driver included) will be using masks and windows will be opened for ventilation;
  • Every morning all team members, participants and IDP staff will have their body temperature taken and logged;
  • If anybody shows Covid-19 symptoms– a cough, fever, shortness of breath – there will be a protocol for dealing with it, including isolating that person and informing the relevant local health authorities.

We take this situation very seriously, and the safety of our staff and project participants is our top priority.  Our researchers will take the utmost precaution to help our participants having a safe, educational and enjoyable experience at the IDP.