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Kozani in Greece Rises to ‘Red’ Covid-19 Risk Level, Restrictions Announced

The regional unit of Kozani in Northern Greece on Thursday was labeled as a very high-risk area for the coronavirus (Covid-19), according to the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.

Kozani is the first regional unit in Greece that has reached Level 4 and been designated “high risk” (colour: red) on the country’s risk-assessment map.

According to Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias, the decision to move Kozani up a risk level was based on the highest levels of the cumulative number of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a period of 14 days; the continuous increase in the daily number of new cases; the wide spread of cases in the community; the more than 220 active cases and their 554 close contacts (quarantined); and also the dozens of small – but controlled – scattered coronavirus clusters throughout the regional unit.

The following restrictive measures will be in place in Kozani for 14 days, from 6am on Friday, October 16, until Thursday, October 29.

Restrictive measures

Photo source: General Secretariat for Civil Protection

Photo source: General Secretariat for Civil Protection

Red-level areas in Greece provide for the mandatory use of a mask in all indoor and outdoor spaces, the suspension of all gatherings in public and private areas and the ban on traveling outside the Kozani regional unit.

The operation of the following establishments are suspended:

· Courthouses, prosecutor’s offices and all land registry offices
· Archaeological sites, museums, caves
· Theaters (live performances of all performing arts)
· Cinemas
· Nightclubs, including banquet halls, catering services and bars
· Music Stages
· Restaurants (only delivery/take away/drive-through services of packaged products are allowed)
· Playgrounds
· Gyms
· Open-air trade markets
· Retail shops
· Hair salons
· Amusement parks / theme parks

Moreover, conferences and exhibitions are banned, and rehearsals/filming of TV shows are prohibited (rehearsals allowed via video conference), as are all kinds of sports events and group training sessions (individuals can exercise alone).

It is noted that schools and all educational centers will remain open with the mandatory use of masks in all areas. Universities will be closed (lessons will carry on only via tele-education).

The following establishments will be in operation in accordance to rules (social distancing, etc) that have already been announced: public services, private companies, transport services, food stores (supermarkets, mini markets, bakeries, butchers, fish shops), farm markets (laiki), places of worship, hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, centers for the chronically ill, hostels for vulnerable groups and the homeless, social establishments for the needy (dormitories, day care centers, social groceries, public pharmacies, soup kitchens), army camps and driving schools.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection strongly recommends to the residents of the wider area of ​​Kozani to be very cautious and to strictly observe all the measures (social distancing, mask wearing) to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

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