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The Greek Tourism Ministry has announced that, as of June 15th, people from 29 countries will be allowed to enter Greece on direct flights to Athens and to the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The list of those eligible to enter the country will be expanded on July 1st, but as of yet does not include the UK.

The 29 countries currently include: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Switzerland.

Greece has so far had far fewer cases of coronavirus than the UK, with 2,906 confirmed cases and 175 deaths. The Greek islands, which rely heavily on tourism, have had no confirmed cases.

Roughly 33 million visitors brought in about $21 billion to Greece in 2019.


Article written by London Greek Radio

LGR’s reporter Michael Janes gives us a very personal view of ‘lockdown’.

We moved to Harrogate from London in September 2019.

Much since has changed in the world around us; the whole experience, worthy of reflection in normal times, has been eclipsed by the effects of a global pandemic.

My daughter graduated from The Northern Film School in Leeds and she fell in love with a Yorkshireman. They were married in Roundhay Park four years ago and live in a suburb of Leeds.

As we were already semi-retired my wife and I “upped sticks” for God’s Own Country to be near her. In a cruel twist of fate, because of lockdown, we are still separated.

At the time, we encountered few doubters. “Are you crazy?”, our friends remonstrated. The old cultural divide between the north and south resurrected. The reaction reminded me of the perception explored in the BBC television series and subsequent book ‘It’s Grim Up North’.

By intimation, those in the north complained of having fewer cultural opportunities; the book also provided a view of southern life as faceless and bland.

Is there any truth to this stereotype?

The Capital does offer a whole range of options not available elsewhere in the UK but remains overwhelmed by a blistering pace that is insatiable for some, and uncomfortable for others, often visitors. Londoners can be cold, even distant.

Dr Johnson’s much quoted, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” is extreme. In reality, the whole scene in London can be exciting, but there comes a time in life when this ceases to be a priority.

On the other hand, in Yorkshire, common courtesy is observed as a natural way of life.

Strangers speak to you in the street without expecting a hand out. However, I have yet to come across a Yorkshireman who breeds whippets. There still exists a naïve ignorance regarding accents / colloquialisms. Most Londoners do not speak like Danny Dyer nor do they sound like Prince Charles.

Furthermore, it is rare to hear “eey by gum”, certainly not in Harrogate.

Similarly, the infamous Yorkshire frugality seems exaggerated. Actually, the opposite seems to be true or maybe I have encountered a generous circle.

Our property search led us to Harrogate.

We were looking for a location with a similar profile to Crouch End in North London; fairly central, full of bars / restaurants, interesting local shops but unpretentiously Avant-Garde. The area around Cold Bath Road known affectionately as “The Notting Hill of the North” ticked most boxes.

Early on, we discovered walks across The Stray and Valley Gardens. Both can be spectacular, particularly in cherry blossom season, certainly on a par with Kenwood or Hampstead.

Multi culturalism so prevalent in London is only a visible in pockets in the North. In some respects, I miss the cultural diversity which makes London intoxicating and, at times, on the edge, although not without its problems. More than twenty years ago, in the school my daughter attended, numerous different languages were spoken including Greek and Turkish. Her class mate taught her to count to ten in Arabic at the age of 11.

Another discernible difference is air quality – with Harrogate coming out on top by a mile. Wherever you are in London, air quality is compromised, although it always felt fresh at the top of the hill at Alexander Palace; with fewer cars now on the road, this should now improve.

The constant sound of sirens is part of the London way of life. I had not heard any in Harrogate until this crisis erupted. Now, sadly it’s every day.

There is still a north-south divide when it comes to property prices.

Harrogate is regarded on the pricey side but not by London standards. Although London prices fell post-Brexit with a more permanent correction pending, the huge discrepancy is unwarranted. As downsizing goes, exchanging a two-bedroom apartment for a detached house still seems surreal.

Harrogate is much subdued due to lockdown, which for us has prolonged the adjustment process. Every day now reminds me of Sundays before the trading laws changed were changed in 1994.

Friends tell me they have seen dramatic change in London. Apparently, the once special cosmopolitan ambience has all but evaporated. Camden Market is deserted. According to reports, Trafalgar Square, normally buzzing at night is a sad spectacle; clusters of homeless people wait on the steps of The National Gallery for food to be delivered.

Whatever they may tell us, in my personal opinion, I suspect things will never be the same again. On a positive note maybe the new normal will be an improvement on before? In the meantime, notwithstanding DIY projects, we are keeping busy. I still do some news reports by phone for LGR and Michelle has her painting. We are pleased we made the move but our hearts remain in North London. Looking forward to a better future.

Michael Janes.
Freelance Reporter, LGR.


Article written by Michael Janes

A 19-year-old London-Cypriot is one of eight winners in a national awards scheme run by Rotary.

The Rotary Young Citizen Awards celebrate the amazing achievements of inspirational young people, under the age of 25, across Great Britain and Ireland, many of whom have assumed important responsibilities at a very young age.

Theo Sergiou from Edmonton, North London, is one of the winners after being nominated by Rotary Enfield Chase.

Aged just two-and-a-half months, Theo was diagnosed with bilateral Retinoblastoma (cancer in both my eyes) and after treatment, doctors regained some of his sight.  However, aged four, he was diagnosed with cancer again, this time the tumour had grown so big, his parents had been told he had only a few days to live, the cancer was terminal. With treatment though, the tumours stopped growing. Theo says: “I still am partially blind and in fear knowing that the cancer could come out of remission one day and kill me, but I survived.”

“Even though I encounter daily barriers being visually impaired, I am adamant not to let this affect my everyday life and will go over and beyond to do any aspiration I set for myself and inspire others.”

His ongoing medical condition and regular hospital admissions haven’t stopped him from doing so much for others.  He’s the London representative on the UK’s Youth Parliament and is passionate about reducing knife crime.  He was recruited to the Youth Advisory Forum, the first ever youth civil service body and Theo is the youngest person in British history to contribute to a No. 10 Cabinet meeting.

As an inpatient at BARTS hospital in 2014, he realised how little say young people have in their own care and became the co-founder of BARTS YES FORUM – Youth Empowerment Squad which now stretches across the BARTS Trust, set up to help improve the experience of young patients.

During the Coronavirus Pandemic, he is giving peer support across the 5 BARTS hospital sites in London to those aged from 11 to 19 who are concerned about being in hospital or don’t want to go to hospital appointments and are worried about their survival.

Theo said: “As my motto goes, I don’t need a reason to do things, I need a reason not to. I hope this Award inspires other people to try the same outlook. With the recent outbreak of Covid-19, I draw even closer to these principles, knowing how precious life truly is. This Award has allowed me to reflect over my life experiences and have hope that growth behind barriers is always possible; never before has this message been so importance to us all”.

He is also supporting kids in education writing an open letter to the Prime Minister about the lack of provision during Lockdown for youngsters with special educational needs who, he says, are suffering mental health problems and not getting an education and also those who are being marginalised because they are digitally disadvantaged due to lack of access to modern technology.

Theo is a lay member of NICE on their Complex Needs and Disability Committee producing guidelines for key-workers and is the first young person on this committee.  He is on the NHS England Youth Forum, representing the views of local young people on a national platform and Youth Representative for Health Education England on their Patient Advisory Forum.


Article written by London Greek Radio, Rotary Club of Enfield Chase

UK Cypriot Professor Chris Toumazou is behind a one-hour COVID-19 test that doesn’t require a laboratory and is being rolled out across London hospitals.

The DnaNudge test does not require any medical expertise and can detect the virus from just a nostril sample – much less invasive than some throat swabs.

After successful trials on 500 patients in London hospitals, the ‘lab in a cartridge’ device was approved for clinical use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at the end of April.

Professor Chris Toumazou, chief executive and co-founder of DnaNudge is based at Imperial College London. He was born in Cheltenham the son of Marcos and Andrianna from the villages of Neta and Yialoussa in Cyprus according to Parikiaki newspaper, respectively.

As Britain tries to ramp up testing to help revive the stalled economy, it is still mainly using laboratory tests that take around 48 hours to produce a result and either require people to travel often long distances to regional testing centers or receive by post at home.

Faster testing could allow more people to go back to work or permit testing on a more regular basis and could help Prime Minister Boris Johnson achieve his target of 200,000 tests a day, an important element in successfully ending the lockdown.

The new test, based on the design of a DNA test developed by a professor at Imperial College London, received approval for clinical use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at the end of April after successful trials.

With a sensitivity of over 98% and specificity of 100%, the DnaNudge test is being rolled out in cancer wards, accident and emergency, and maternity departments, as a prelude to possible wider application.

The health ministry said it was a pilot scheme and that other lab-based tests were also being run in order to look at the benefits and capabilities of each test. Britain’s National Health Service is also using other point-of-care machines to test for the virus.

Britain made an initial order of 10,000 DnaNudge cartridges in March and has procured another 70,000 since. The price of the disposable cartridge tests is around 40 pounds ($49).

“It is a lab in a cartridge effectively,” said Chris Toumazou, a professor of engineering at Imperial College who developed the test. “The key is that with this test you go straight from a saliva swap or a nasal swab into the cartridge with no transport and no laboratory.”

“You can even look at such small fragments of the RNA (Ribonucleic acid) that you can check whether a patient is coming out of it or going into COVID,” Toumazou said.

The test, which requires one nostril swab, is being rolled out at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital, St Mary’s, and at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital.

“This test does work and is actually more sensitive than some of the lab tests,” Dr Gary Davies, hospital medical director at the Chelsea and Westminster, told Reuters. He said the test was being used for patients coming into hospital to help decide on which ward to place them.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The Republic of Cyprus Council of Ministers announced the changes to travelling to Cyprus this weekend, with the two stage plan which commences in June.

– The UK is not on the initial list of countries that will be opened for commercial flights in either phase A (from 9th) or B (from 20th June)
– So, until further notice only repatriation flights for Cypriot nationals/residents will be allowed into Cyprus from the UK
– Individuals on repatriation flights after 25th May will be tested on arrival & quarantined until results of the test are known. After that period they will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days

– For those who wish to be repatriated and haven’t done so already, please register on connect2cy.gov.cy/.

Those who will be repatriated from the UK after May 25th and until any new announcements, will undergo testing upon arrival in Cyprus. They will stay for 1 day, or for as long as it takes for the results to be known, at a designated place. Following on from this, all those whose results come back negative will go into self-isolation at their home for 14 days.

The nation’s Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said to begin with 19 countries will be allowed to enter Cyprus from June 9th which includes Greece.

The countries on the list for the first phase have some of the lowest coronavirus case and death rates.

The countries who will be allowed to fly into Cyprus from June 9th include Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic will all be allowed into Cyprus as part of the second stage from June 20th.

Visitors will have to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of their flight if they want to be accepted during the first stage.

However, from June 20, those holidaymakers from the initial 13 countries won’t have to take the test.

From Monday compulsory quarantine for those entering the country will end with people being allowed to self-isolate at home.


Article written by London Greek Radio

London Greek Radio (LGR) has recorded a huge increase in listening figures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with other local, commercial and BBC stations across the UK, whilst some stations have reported double-digit increases in online listening in recent weeks, LGR has seen our figures more than triple!

London Greek Radio has recorded a significant increase in connected radio listening, with an average increase of 173% with the most notable growth over the Orthodox Easter weekend of 346%.

The figures suggest that people staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic seem to be listening to more radio rather than listening to music apps.

The numbers are from LGR’s online streaming platforms. Some of LGR’s biggest increases have been especially noted across morning and daytime programming – which suggests that people are keeping devices on when they would normally be heading out to work.

Pierre Petrou, Head of Programming for London Greek Radio said: “LGR has been the backbone for our communities for over 30 years and provides companionship and friendship. As a result, solid relationships are formed between the listener and presenter on the radio. During this crisis, our presenters aim to inform, update and entertain.

He added, “We have developed systematic programming which includes regular live updates from Cyprus, Greece and the UK. Understandably, our regular schedule has changed but it seems that people are welcoming this as we are working in partnership with organisations who are providing essential key services to the most vulnerable – from free food packages to ‘a listening ear’.

“We’re also aware that calls, texts and emails have increased, so I think there is a bit of a general rediscovery of radio and how important it can be at times like this.”

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, said: “As the UK acclimatises to a new world of working from home and enforced isolation, radio proves its strength as a hugely valuable source of information, reassurance, company and, most importantly, fun. As one of the most trusted and accessible forms of media, it is perhaps no surprise that so many are tuning in right now.”


Article written by London Greek Radio

It’s been reported this week that 287 UK Cypriots have died in relation to Coronavirus.

The weekly Parikiaki newspaper which has continued to print it’s circulation during the pandemic have been providing regular updates.  The latest figures were published as of 29th April 2020, however it is not known whether the deceased have died directly from Coronavirus or whether they had tested positive for the virus, but died of other causes.

The newspaper has contacted hospitals, churches, funeral directors, Turkish Cypriot media and community, plus requests for their weekly death announcements, and confirmed 287 UK Cypriots have died, with 51 deaths of UK Cypriots in the past week.

According to Parikiaki’s calculations the deceased are as follows:-

UK Greek Cypriots – 170, which includes a married couple and two brothers
UK Turkish Cypriots – 90
UK Maronite Cypriot – 1

All of the above are from the London area with 8 additional UK Greek-Cypriot deaths and 1 Turkish-Cypriot in Birmingham, 3 (from the same family) in Weston-super-Mare, 1 in Southend, 1 in Luton, 1 in Cheltenham, 1 in Lowestoft, 1 in Derby, 1 in Cambridge, 1 Greek-Cypriot and 1 Maronite-Cypriot in Liverpool, 1 in Glasgow, 1 in Newport, 1 in Leeds and 3 Turkish-Cypriots outside of London (awaiting details).

With 233,829 deaths worldwide, the above total of 287 UK Cypriot deaths equates to 0.12% of deaths globally and 1.07% of deaths in the UK.

Cyprus currently has 850 cases of positive tests for Coronavirus with 15 deaths and so far, 148 have recovered from the disease, (just over 17%).

In Greece, of 2,591 cases, 140 people have died and 1,374 have recovered, (just over 53% so far).

Globally, from the 3,304,140 who have tested positive for the disease, 1,039,055 have recovered and 233,829 have died.  [Just over 31% recovery rate so far and 7% spot-on who have died worldwide.]

London Greek Radio (LGR) expresses our sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those who have sadly died during the pandemic and continuing to work with various organisations to help and support our communities at this challenging time.

John Kyriakides, Chairman of LGR said, “The LGR family are working hard to keep listeners informed, entertained and updated during this unprecedented time. I am saddened to hear of so many deaths in our communities.”

Tony Jay, Managing Director for LGR added, “LGR will continue to promote cross-partnership initiatives to help our listeners and communities. Our work to communicate the help that is available is more important than ever because we all have a role to play in fighting this virus.”

London Greek Radio – working together with partners, businesses and organisations to support our communities.

#StayHome#SaveLives#StayTuned

Information credited and attributed to Parikiaki newspaper and www.worldometers.info

Figures correct at time of publication 01:15 on Friday 1st May 2020.


Article written by London Greek Radio

It’s been reported this week that 236 UK Cypriots have died in relation to Coronavirus.

The weekly Parikiaki newspaper which has continued to print it’s circulation during the pandemic have been providing regular updates.  The latest figures were published as of 22nd April 2020, however it is not known whether the deceased have died directly from Coronavirus or whether they had tested positive for the virus, but died of other causes.

The newspaper has contacted hospitals, churches, funeral directors, Turkish Cypriot media and community, plus requests for their weekly death announcements, and confirmed 236 UK Cypriots have died, with 36 deaths of UK Cypriots in the past week.

According to Parikiaki’s calculations the deceased are as follows:-

UK Greek Cypriots – 140, which includes a married couple
UK Turkish Cypriots – 80
UK Maronite Cypriot – 1

All of the above are from the London area with 5 additional UK Greek-Cypriot deaths in Birmingham, 3 (from the same family) in Weston-super-Mare, 1 in Southend, 1 in Luton, 1 in Cheltenham, 1 in Lowestoft, 1 in Derby, 1 in Cambridge and 1 in Liverpool.

With 192,262 deaths worldwide, the above total of 236 UK Cypriot deaths equates to 0.12% of deaths globally and 1.26% of deaths in the UK.

Cyprus currently has 795 cases of positive tests for Coronavirus with 14 deaths and so far, 98 have recovered from the disease, (just over 12%).

In Greece, of 2,463 cases, 127 people have died and 577 have recovered, (almost 25% so far).

Globally, from the 2,754,506 who have tested positive for the disease, 762,128 have recovered and 192,377 have died.  [An almost 30% recovery rate so far and just under 7% who have died worldwide.]

The 2,754,506 confirmed worldwide cases represents 0.035% of the world’s population who have been diagnosed with Coronavirus.

London Greek Radio (LGR) expresses our sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those who have sadly died during the pandemic and continuing to work with various organisations to help and support our communities at this challenging time.

John Kyriakides, Chairman of LGR said, “The LGR family are working hard to keep listeners informed, entertained and updated during this unprecedented time. I am saddened to hear of so many deaths in our communities.”

Tony Jay, Managing Director for LGR added, “LGR will continue to promote cross-partnership initiatives to help our listeners and communities. Our work to communicate the help that is available is more important than ever because we all have a role to play in fighting this virus.”

London Greek Radio – working together with partners, businesses and organisations to support our communities.  #StayHome#SaveLives#StayTuned

Information credited and attributed to Parikiaki newspaper and www.worldometers.info

Figures correct at time of publication 16:09 on Friday 24th April 2020.


Article written by London Greek Radio

LGR has teamed up with restaurateur, George Psarias, who has nearly 40 years of cooking experience to bring you a recipe every Wednesday for you to try one evening this week!

Tune in for Drive-Time 4-7pm with Tony Neophytou every Wednesday to hear George’s latest recipe!

Click here to download this week’s recipe!

WEEK 1: 20th April 2020
GALAKTOBOUREKO STO TAPSI (PDF file)

WEEK 2: 27th April 2020
GREEK KLEFTIKO (PDF file)

WEEK 3: 6th May 2020
SPANAKOPITA (PDF file)

WEEK 4: 13th May 2020 (coming soon)

 


Article written by London Greek Radio

The increasing daily death toll from Coronavirus has stunned the nation. The pandemic has caused widespread disruption to jobs, family life and individual liberty. Our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is currently fighting this dreadful disease.

The media and politicians alike suggest that we will need to call upon ‘The Dunkirk Spirit’ to see us through the crisis. It was said that the “Yorkshire flood victims showed the Dunkirk Spirit as they battled the rising water”. However, what does this really mean?

A brief look at the history does at least give us a startling perspective.

The renown historian, AJP Taylor famously wrote, “Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a great disaster but it might simply have been a great disaster”. Put bluntly, had Hitler not halted the advance of his Panzers at a critical point during the allied retreat, the miracle of Dunkirk would not have been possible. The term ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ would not exist.

Hypothetically, under these circumstances, “Dunkirk Capitulation” is a more appropriate epitaph as it is likely that the whole area would rapidly have been transformed into a giant POW cage.

As we know, for reasons which have never been convincingly explained, Hitler did halt his tanks, allowing the British and French to build a defensive perimeter around Dunkirk making mass evacuation possible.

More than three-hundred thousand British and French troops were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk.  But make no mistake – this was a collective effort.  A brilliant feat of improvisation from our forces supported by a selfless rear-guard action from troops on the ground, notably the defenders of Calais and the French 12th motorised infantry division.

However, not everyone behaved as heroes and, like today, although most are observing social distancing, but not all, back then, some service personnel / civilians behaved selfishly.

Recently, Scotland’s chief medical officer has resigned after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus “lockdown”.  The chief medical officer had fronted television and radio adverts urging the public to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.  However, it is the majority that create a collective spirit, not random individuals.

In 1940, private boat owners volunteered themselves and their vessels, (often just pleasure craft), to help with the evacuation. Their contribution was critical and is regarded, rightly so. with great pride. No doubt, in time, memories of the volunteers prepared to risk infection for the greater cause during the Coronavirus will attribute similar status.

After Dunkirk, Winston Churchill reminded the public, “wars are not won by evacuations”, but added, “there was a victory inside this deliverance which should be noted”. From this platform, based on a common spirit of defiance, Churchill was able to galvanise a nation to defend itself against invasion.

Of course, to varying degrees, this spirit was evident during the threat from the Spanish Armada and later Napoleon, although modern communication was not available then so the message would have taken time to circulate. Churchill had radio. Today our leaders have satellite TV, the internet and social media.

It is often said that the British are at their best when their “backs are to the wall.”  There is truth in this. Unlike our cousins across the pond, we champion the underdog, celebrate near misses, honourable defeats, resistance against all odds, rarely sublime victory. At the defence of the mission-station at Rorke’s Drift, which was a courageous, yet defensive engagement, the ‘hero’ status was accorded to Captain Scott after failing to reach Antarctica ahead of his biggest rival.

Our sentimental attachment with the Second World War is another factor. A couple of weeks ago, H.M the Queen made a rare televised address to the nation in which she called on the country to “remain united and resolute”, and echoed the words of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime anthem, when she said “we will meet again.”  I can’t imagine other world leaders resurrecting our memories from the war to boost morale.

We are told hundreds of workers in small laboratories across the UK are working to create a 21st century flotilla of little ships to avert Britain`s threatened Coronavirus Dunkirk by testing the nation’s frontline NHS workers. This is truly uplifting, but is it really a version of the Dunkirk Spirit?

I believe this reaction to be a trait which is intrinsically British, but not exclusively so. “Lest we forget” the Spartans gallant stand at Thermopylae against overwhelming odds, or the French defenders at Verdun.

We may very well be a softer society than the one our parents or grandparents inhabited, but our current plight and capacity to endure should be measured against our world of 2020, not 1940.

I joined in the hand-clapping for National Heath /social workers which, although pre-ordained by the media, showed the very best of British.  In my street, (Heywood Road, Harrogate), people came together in a simultaneous act of appreciation. Whole families clapped and cheered, not only out of respect, but there was a real sense of ‘we are in this fight together – we will beat this disease together.’  Other countries have shown their appreciation in similar ways but it is unusual for the British to embrace a collective emotional outpouring of this kind.

We may very well still be influenced by past glories perceived or otherwise, but our special spirit remains intact.  Whether this is a British characteristic or the Dunkirk Spirit remains to be seen, but it is nevertheless, something we will be increasingly reliant upon in the months to come.

Michael Janes
LGR Broadcast Journalist.


Article written by Michael Janes