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Athens-Attica: New Covid-19 Measures Include Teleworking, Suspension of Concerts

UPDATE:
The restrictive measures in Attica have been extended until October 12.
The measure of mandatory teleworking has been extended until October 31.

Photo source: civilprotection.gr

Photo source: civilprotection.gr

A series of additional restrictive measures to curb the further spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the wider Athens area of Attica were announced on Friday by Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Speaking during a Covid-19 briefing on Friday, Hardalias said the measures are aimed at protecting vulnerable groups, as well as employees in the public and private sectors in areas of Attica.

According to the latest data, Attica is currently on the “orange” level, between moderate and high impact, with some three cases per 100,000 residents daily.

“The situation is steadily increasing, so we must move quickly, before we reach the ‘red’ level,” he said, adding that out of the 4,084 active Covid-19 cases in Greece at this stage, 2,100 are in Attica and 966 of them are located specifically in neighborhoods of downtown Athens.

Greek health authorities on Friday announced 339 new coronavirus cases with 164 found in Attica alone.

New measures

Greek Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias.

The new measures announced for Attica will be in force from Monday, September 21 until Sunday, October 4.

1. A 9-person cap has been set for all indoor and outdoor gatherings. Areas where special distance measures apply, such as restaurants, cafes and bars, are excluded from the measure.

2. Concerts in both open and closed spaces are suspended.

3. Screenings of films in indoor cinemas are suspended.

4. A 20-person cap has been set for weddings, funerals and baptisms.

5. Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients belonging to vulnerable population groups (migrants for example), will be accommodated in quarantine hotels.

Moreover, Hardalis underlined that the latest data shows that many positive cases are spread among employees of the private sector.

As he mentioned, 29.07 percent of cases concern private employees, 13.43 percent concern pensioners and 13.27 percent concern the unemployed.

Recommendations for vulnerable groups, citizens over 65

The deputy minister said that citizens of vulnerable groups or that are 65 years of age and over are highly recommended to limit their movements for the next 14 days and only go out when absolutely necessary, always taking the necessary protection measures. They should also avoid contact with people other than their immediate family environment and also avoid commuting by public transport.

Measures in the workplace
40% of employees must work from home

Moreover, he announced measures to be imposed on the public and private sector to protect the health of employees.

These measures include:

1. Mandatory teleworking for 40% of public and private sector employees performing office work or tasks that can be performed remotely.

2. Employees arriving at the workplace in three groups (7am, 8am and 9am) to prevent congestion on public transport.

3. Employees departing from the workplace in four groups (within two hours from the start and end of working hours) to prevent congestion on public transport..

4. Frequent checks will be carried out at workplaces of public and private sector services and fines imposed on supervisors/employers and employees who do not comply with personal protection measures in the workplace. That is, the mandatory use of a mask.

5. Rapid Covd-19 tests will be carried out by health authorities at workplaces of public and private sector services and congested areas of the areas in Attica with the most Covid-19 cases, including schools, public transport and hospitals.

During the briefing, Greek infectious diseases expert Gkikas Magiorkinis said that the increase of cases nationwide and mainly in Attica coincides with the return of a large percentage of people from summer vacations.

Moreover, regarding the effectiveness of the measures previously announced for Attica (on Tuesday), Magiorkinis said that results are expected to show in about 10-14 days.

With Friday’s 339 new coronavirus cases, the total number in Greece has risen to 14,738. The death toll in the country has reached 327.

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