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Travel between prefectures and to Crete will be allowed as of May 18, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias announced, adding that travel to islands is under consideration.

Hardalias said the government’s intention is to allow travel to the islands on May 25, but this decision will be not confirmed until the middle of next week.

Until now, only permanent residents of Crete and the islands were allowed to travel to them, with proof of residence documentation.

The decision to allow travel between prefectures and to the island of Crete, he said, relates to their infrastructure preparedness in the event a person becomes ill with Covid-19.

Hardalias commented that on Monday, when the second phase of lifting restrictions began, schools and businesses went back into operation smoothly. The only problems occurred at the Public Power Corporation local outlets, where people crowded to pay their bills, but these were dealt with immediately and effectively, he said.

At the press briefing, Health Ministry spokesperson and infectious diseases expert Professor Sotiris Tsiodras announced 18 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of infections since the start of the outbreak in the country to 2,744.

So far, of the total infections, 608 are traced to travel abroad and 1,378 to known cases in Greece.

Fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak total 152 (40 were women).