EU asks Greece to relocate migrants most at risk from coronavirus out of crowded camps

Lesvos migrants

Lesvos migrants

The European Union has asked Greece to relocate migrants most at risk of contracting coronavirus from overcrowded camps on its Mediterranean islands, the EU's top migration official told Reuters.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, said Athens had opposed moving the migrants to the Greek mainland, citing the absence of coronavirus cases in the camps while the deadly virus is spreading elsewhere in Greece.

"We are working together with the Greek government and the Greek authorities to agree on an emergency plan to help reduce the risk as much as possible in the overcrowded hotspots on the islands," Johansson said.

"It could be relocation of the most vulnerable individuals from the overcrowded camps to other areas on the islands," she added.

Last week, Greek authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of migrants living in overcrowded camps on its islands, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  Visits to camps by individuals and organisations are also suspended for at least 14 days.