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Persistent Covid-19 Curve Forces Greece to Extend Lockdown

Greek Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas.

Greek authorities may be forced to extend the country’s second lockdown beyond initially announced dates after failure of current measures to bring down the number of daily recorded Covid-19 cases and deaths and due to increasing pressure on the health care system.

We are veering away from the December 7 goal and will need to go a bit farther,” said Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas on Wednesday, without setting a specific date when lockdown measures will be lifted.

Petsas clarified that the government was still unable to say which areas would resume activity first, but reiterated that return to normal conditions would proceed “gradually”.

“How much later and at what pace these gradual phases will take place will be assessed at the end of the week,” he said, speaking on Mega TV.

Last month, Petsas had announced the opening of schools first, then shops and restaurants, but on Wednesday, he said this was subject to change.

In any case, he said, a relevant announcement would be made at the end of the week based on the number of Covid-19 cases and intubations and on the curve’s performance.

He added that the government was awaiting the assessment of epidemiologists with regard to school openings.

The government’s priority last month was to re-open all educational facilities and get the retail market going at least in areas that have managed to flatten the curve.

Cafeterias and restaurants are to open last. The re-opening nightclubs and bars is not being considered due to the crowded conditions in those spaces.

Petsas also did not clarify whether inter-regional travel would be allowed before Christmas, noting that it would pose a very serious risk.

He went on to add that hotels and ski resorts at winter destinations would also likely be closed.

With regard to Covid-19 vaccinations, Petsas said Greece was ready with initial plans to vaccinate 2,100,000 people each month.

Greek health authorities on Wednesday announced 2,186 confirmed coronavirus cases and 89 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 109,655. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 2,606.

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  1. bruce rogers Reply

    hello, everyone. I live in Athens and just cancelled our reservation on Hydra for the holidays. The gov.gr website says it’s unlikely inter-regional travel will open before Christmas, and would be very risky.

    The hotel was very understanding, they said they knew we would have to cancel and were just waiting for us.

  2. Lou Sales Reply

    To Craig,
    Wait it out, my wife hopefully flies in on the 18th, everything is in the air at the moment

  3. Asteris Reply

    Hey Craig. I live in Athens and the user above stated if you don’t worry about losing your money and can actually cancel accommodation, coming to Greece right now is not a good idea, as you’ll not be able to enjoy anything.

  4. Craig Reply

    Does anyone have any forecast on what will happen closer to Christmas?…

    I’m due to fly from the UK to Athens 27th December – 3rd January (booked many months ago) – my conundrum, is we only have free-cancellation for our accommodation up until 4 days before travel! The flights shouldn’t be too much hassle, as we’ll probably be given vouchers- which is okay.

    I know there’s more to life than my travel plans, but it’s concerns we have, none the less.

    • Misk Reply

      Hey Craig. I’m British but currently live in Athens. We really don’t know what the situation will be by then honestly – much in the same way as it was impossible for those in the UK to predict when you were coming out of Lockdown 1. Best case scenario I think will be the situation we were here before lockdown – which will mean a curfew on all establishments closing at midnight and madatory mask wearing both inside buildings, on public transport, as well as walking around the streets.

      If you can stomach all of that as part of a relaxing holiday then the best thing to do is wait until closer to the date and see what happends. Not ideal, I appreicate, but there isn’t much else you can do right now.

      Also, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but mainland Greece (including Athens) is currently on the UK’s quarantine list, so you’ll have to quarantine once you get home most likley.

    • To Craig Reply

      Unless you do not care about losing that money spent for booking at all and enjoy staying in your airbnb all day, you should cancel the trip. Greece kept everything under lock down even with much lower cases and fatalities before so you have a 0,1% chance of being able to travel freely between Greek regions, visit restaurants or museums this month.

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