“In the last 5 days we have seen an exponential increase in cases,” the Greek PM said while addressing the Greek public in national broadcast.
Mitsotakis added that the decision for a second lockdown was taken due to a significant rise in hospitalizations, in intubations, in the number of patients in ICU (intensive care units) and the poor ratio of hospital admissions and discharges.
As of 6am on Saturday and until the end of the month, the Greeks will once again be obliged to send an sms for movement in public.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, health services and takeaway services will be in operation.
Kindergartens, primary schools and special education schools of all levels will remain open, while lessons for secondary schools and high schools will take place via tele-education.
PM Mitsotakis underlined that wearing masks at all times is strictly mandatory.
Greece’s lockdown will be in force for three weeks until November 30. Further details on the lockdown measures will be announced at 6pm by Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.
“I choose to take drastic measures sooner rather than later. Many European countries were forced to take such measures when the epidemic was already out of control but I will not endanger the lives of our fellow citizens,” the Greek PM said.
During his speech, the Greek PM referred to new support measures for the employed and unemployed:
– Employees that will be on work suspension in November will receive aid of 800 euros – instead of the announced 534 euros – in early December, in addition to the annual Christmas bonus (handed out to private sector workers).
– All unemployment benefits that expired in September and December will be extended by two months.
– A one-time handout of 400 euros will be given to the country’s long-term unemployed citizens that do not receive benefits.
At 3pm Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras will announce all relief measures for businesses and citizens that will be affected by the three-week lockdown measures.
The announcement of Greece’s second lockdown comes three days after new measures went in force and were to last for a month.