An interesting development. At 17:58 I received a text message. It was not one of the reverse 112 broadcast alerts. It was an ordinary text message from a Greek mobile number: +30 6970 096024 but obviously official. The message reads:
URGENT PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: DUE TO COVID-19 ALL TRAVELERS [sic] ARRIVING IN GREECE MUST SELF-ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AND OTHERS AT RISK.
The interesting part is that it was sent to my UK mobile SIM and is only in English. It looks like the government may be getting Greek mobile operators to detect foreign SIMs that are connected to their network and send them an alert. I don't know if this relates to the earlier comments about tourists.
The restriction that only Greeks with permanent residency on an island could move to that island only came into effect on Saturday March 21 so it is possible that the Athenians Bob has seen arrived before that restriction was imposed, Jean. I think there are also some who spend more time in Athens than on Crete but they are registered as tax resident here and submit their tax return here so they would also be allowed to come.
There is a research group at Oxford University currently doing a comparative study of the way different countries reacted and how that affected the outcome, Guy. I saw a person involved with the study being interviewed this afternoon and he said it was too early to draw very definite conclusions but the key factor was test, trace and isolate. Social distancing was useful mainly to slow the rate of spread a) so that it was easier to carry out test, trace and isolate, because the numbers are smaller, and b) so that the peak effect on the healthcare system is smaller. The speed and rigidity with which social distancing was implemented were critical factors in how successful it was. Other than that they needed more time to separate the cause and effect aspects of the many differences between countries, e.g. social norms, demographics, healthcare systems and many more. When asked who he would point to as responding the best the only one he highlighted was South Korea.
PS Of all the curves shown in the FT article only two have gone flat, i.e. no significant increase in number of cases. They are China, i.e. total lockdown, and South Korea, i.e. the most effective implementation of test, trace and isolate with very little social distancing among the general population.