Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday announced that the government was easing the measures taken to halt the spread of Covid-19 throughout Greece and setting the standards that will guide the country to normalcy.
“Following the recommendations of our expert committee, I can today announce our steps towards a ‘safety bridge’ of a new daily reality,” said the PM during a televised address to the public.
From Monday, May 4, the restrictions on the non-essential movement of citizens will be lifted, along with the obligation to notify authorities on essential movement (via hard copy permits and text sms messages).
According to the government’s two-month plan, Greece’s market will reopen in seven stages, starting with the opening of specific shops and services next Monday, temporarily from 10am.
However, restrictions will still apply during Greece’s gradual return to normalcy. The government’s plan includes social distancing between shop owners and customers; a limit to the number of customers per footage when indoors; and the mandatory use of a mask in public transport, taxis, hospitals; and when visiting public services and visiting shops. In regards to elder citizens, there is a recommendation for them to continue to stay at home.
The Greek PM said that the government will be monitoring developments of the gradual return to normalcy on a 24 hours basis.
“Until the right vaccine and an effective treatment is found, the virus will live among us,” the PM said, requesting that all citizens do their best and follow the hygiene and social distancing instructions.
Restrictions to be lifted in 7 stages
The following shops, establishments and services will be in operation:
Stage 1 – May 4: Retail businesses such as bookstores, optical eyewear stores, sports equipment stores; shops providing services such as hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons (they will operate strictly by appointment); and vehicle inspection services (KTEO)
Stage 2 – May 11: All remaining retail businesses (except shopping malls), along with driving schools
Stage 3 – May 18: Archaeological sites, zoos and botanical gardens
For details on the initial phase, see below:
Stages 4 to 7
Stage 4 – from June 1: Shopping malls, outdoor restaurants and cafes
Stage 5: Summer cinemas, year-round hotels
Stage 6: Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor playgrounds
Stage 7: Indoor restaurants and cafes, seasonal hotels and resorts, indoor sports facilities
Moving around in public
Moreover, the government recommends for citizens to prefer to move around in private cars rather than public transportation in an aim to reduce congestion at train and metro stations, in buses, in trolleys and in tram cars, so that the virus is not further transmitted.
In regards to taxis, the measure foreseeing one customer/passenger per vehicle is still in place.
Students in the last grade of high school will return to class on May 11 and a week later other grades will follow. However, nursery schools, kindergartens and elementary schools will continue to remain closed until further notice.
Churches will be open to the public in May but with restrictions: personal worship will be allowed as of May 4 and daily services attendance as of May 17.
In the coming days the government is expected to announce further guidelines for restaurants, leisure facilities, hotels, beauty salons, swimming pools and beaches.
In addition, it was announced that large gatherings, such as festivals, concerts or sporting events with spectators, will most likely not be allowed during the summer months.
To see the Greek government’s plan for the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictive measures: “A bridge of safety toward a new daily reality”, press here.