Although retail stores and shopping malls will reopen in Greece on January 18, the country’s night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am remains in force, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Friday.
Speaking during the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 media briefing, Hardalias said that following the approval of the national health committee, the government has decided to gradually lift some restrictions and allow retail stores and other businesses to open to consumers. However, he made it clear that measures, such as the curfew and permission for movement via SMS, still do apply in the country.
“The next steps in tackling the pandemic are clear: maintaining safety measures, making a gradual and careful restart of the economy, always following the advice of experts, imposing restrictions in areas with outbreaks and increasing vaccination. The country’s recent positive image has led to the decision to gradually lift some restrictions,” he said.
It is reminded that during the night curfew, movement (with identification) in Greece is allowed by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033 and only for work reasons (with type A employer certificate, without sending an SMS), health reasons (SMS – Option 1) and to walk a pet close to permanent residence (SMS – Option 6). Beyond the curfew, moevement is allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to 13033.
Moreover, movement between Greek prefectures (domestic travel) continues to be banned, except for specific reasons (health and work).
It is reminded that wearing a mask is mandatory everywhere in Greece when in public (indoors and outdoors).
Consumers must send an SMS to shop
Hardalias added that for movement related to shopping at retail stores and going to hairdressers and other businesses that will open as of January 18, consumers must send an SMS (Option 2) to 13033.
It is noted that shops and stores in Greek areas that are at the coronavirus “red” risk level and are under strict lockdown measures, are only allow operate via the “click away” method (orders via internet or phone). Consumers in those areas will not be allowed to shop inside stores.
Strict lockdown measures lifted in some areas
The deputy minister also announced that strict lockdown restrictions will be lifted from certain areas in the country due to an improvement of their epidemiological situation. These areas are:
– the Municipality of Elefsina in West Attica
– the Municipality of Kozani in northern Greece
– the Municipality of Voio in the Regional Unit of Kozani
– the local communities of Strofi, Neda, Agiochori and Ipio of the Municipality of Arriana of the Regional Unit of Rodopi
– the local community of Sperchiada of the Municipality of Makrakomi in Fthiotida
– the local community of Kelli of the Municipality of Amyntaio in Florina
It is noted that only the strict restrictions are being lifted from the aforementioned areas, which continue to be under Greece’s general lockdown.
On the other hand, due to high infection rates, strict lockdown restrictions have been extended until Monday, January 25, in the following areas:
– the Μunicipality of Aspropyrgos in West Attica
– the Μunicipality of Eordea and the local communities of Krokos and Siatista of the Regional Unit of Kozani
– the local community of Anthili of the Municipality of Lamia
– the regional unit of Viotia in Central Greece
– the local community of Municipality of Sitia, Lassithi, on Crete
– the island of Kalymnos of the South Aegean Region
– the island of Lesvos of the North Aegean Region
– the Municipality of Sparti in the Peloponnese Region
– the regional unit of Argolida in the Peloponnese Region
In addition, the deputy minister said that the Covid-19 health committee decided to impose strict lockdown restrictions on the Municipality of Acharnes in east Attica due to a spike in active coronavirus cases.
It is reminded that areas under tight lockdown restrictions have to abide by a stricter curfew that bans non-essential movement between 6pm and 5am. Movement during the curfew is allowed only for health and work reasons, provided that workers have the necessary documentation from their employers. (Movement beyond the curfew is allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to 13033.)
All religious services are suspended in areas under strict lockdown restrictions and residents are banned from leaving their area (travel is only allowed for health reasons).
Greek health authorities on Friday announced 610 new coronavirus cases and 34 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 147,860. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 5,421.