Greece is not considering to close restaurants, cafes and bars before midnight to fight rising coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in high-risk areas, according to Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas.
During a press briefing on Monday, Petsas was asked if the government was considering putting an earlier curfew (before midnight) on restaurants, cafes and bars in areas that may move up a level (to ‘orange’ or ‘red’) on Greece’s Covid-19 risk-assessment map.
Restaurants, cafes and bars in Greece’s high-risk areas have been shutting their doors early (at midnight) since August.
“The answer is simple: No,” Petsas said, adding that the government was neither considering imposing restrictions on the movement of the elderly (over 65) and of the vulnerable groups.
However, he did say that authorities will step up checks on compliance with the new rules that were announced to curb the spread of the coronavirus in high-risk areas.
As of October 24, citizens in all regional units that appear as ‘orange’ or ‘red’ on the country’s risk-assessment map must wear masks everywhere in public (indoors and outdoors) and stay indoors between 12:30am and 5:00 am (late night curfew).
On Sunday alone, one day after the measures were implemented, the Hellenic Police recorded 260 curfew violations and fined each citizen 150 euros.
Greece is in a better state than other countries but cases are rising
Referring to the updated health map released by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), Petsas said that while most European countries are shown as having a high epidemiological risk, Greece together with the Nordic countries are presenting a better picture in terms of the number of cases.
“Nevertheless, it is obvious that cases are showing an increase in our country, with the daily number showing a significant rise in recent days,” he said, adding that the government imposed the new measures in order to prevent the worst.
“It is noticed that the spread of the virus is mainly among young people. That is why the experts, the Prime Minister and the government are calling on the younger ages to show caution and avoid mass gatherings,” he added.
Greek health authorities on Monday reported 715 new coronavirus cases (down from Sunday’s 790 and Saturday’s 935), raising the total number to 31,496. The death toll in the country has reached 581.