the music stops on Greece’s party island

On the Greek party island Mykonos on Saturday (July 17) night, something was missing.

Authorities have banned music in cafes, restaurants and bars, as well as imposed a week-long nighttime curfew from 1am til 6am.

[UK tourist Camilla Pierce saying:] “We only got here a few days ago and now nothing is open so now our holiday has been ruined.”

The restrictions have been brought in to contain what has been described as a “worrying” local outbreak of COVID-19.

But the decision, after the global health crisis caused a collapse in visitor numbers last year, has left business association head Irakilis Zisimopoulos fuming.

“They decide to destroy the economy of the island at a most critical time of the year. We have a lot of cancellations, immediately, people leave from the island, and it will be a disaster for us and our staff.”

Greece depends on tourism for a fifth of its economy and Mykonos is one of its most popular destinations.

It’s reputation for all-night partying lures more than a million visitors every year, including Hollywood stars, models and top athletes.

For Jesus Marino, it was the perfect place to spend his birthday.

“There is no music, so there is no celebration, makes me so sad, bring back the music please, please, please, please.”

Infections have risen across Greece in recent weeks – including on Mykonos where health authorities recorded 37 new cases on Saturday.

It’s been averaging around the same number over the last seven days.

In the early hours of Sunday (July 18) the usually bustling streets of Mykonos were quiet as disappointed tourists, like Sarah and Dina, leave.

[Saudi Arabian tourist Sarah, saying:] “We came here to party.”

[Saudi Arabian tourist Dina, saying:] “So bye Mykonos.”

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