Greece announces gradual lifting of COVID-19 measures
Tourism season to open on May 15, food sector on May 3
In a televised address on Wednesday, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis unveiled the government’s plan to gradually lift lockdown measures.
Mitsotakis said that travelling restrictions will not be lifted for the celebrations of the Greek Orthodox Easter falling on May 2 in an aim to control further spread, as the virus load on most major cities including Attica region is still very high.
According to laboratory tests conducted in the wider region of Athens, the viral load in the region is at its highest levels since the outbreak hit the country last year.
”The mass movement carries the risk of spreading the virus everywhere. And, we know, that hospitalizations in the region are difficult. We must, therefore, think not only about our holidays, but also about the health of the inhabitants of our villages and islands," he said.
He pointed out that this is essential in order for the country to be able open its doors for the summer season on May 15 as it was announced.
Restaurants and coffee shops will open on May 3 with people allowed to sit only outside and with all social distancing measures in place. The same day curfew timings will be extended to 11 pm from 9 pm, which is currently in place.
Primary and elementary schools will open on May 10.
Meanwhile, George Pavlakis, a professor of medicine, in an interview with SKAI TV warned about a fourth wave hitting the country in the summer if restrictions on public movement are relaxed more than they have to during Orthodox Easter.
Earlier this week, Greece lifted its quarantine requirements for passengers coming from the European Union, the Schengen area, the UK, the US, the United Arab Emirates , Serbia, and Israel.
On Wednesday, the country recorded 3,015 new cases bringing the total up to 323,639, according to health authorities.
Some 86 deaths were also recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 9,713.