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Covid-19: Earlier Curfew on Weekends for Athens, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki

Photo Source: Visit Greece / Y Skoulas

Greek authorities on Friday announced that the country’s night curfew will start earlier in the evening every weekend in Attica (which includes central Athens), Thessaloniki and Halkidiki in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). Retail stores in the three areas will be closed on weekends.

Following a meeting of the country’s health committee, Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that Thessaloniki has moved up a risk level on the coronavirus risk-assessment map to Level B-red (high-risk areas/strict measures).

Stricter curfew

The deputy minister said that the committee has decided to extend the existing 9pm-5am overnight curfew for Thessaloniki, as well as for the also “red” areas of Attica (Athens) and Halkidiki, only on weekends and start it at 6pm, as of Saturday, February 6.

As before, during the hours beyond the curfew, outside movement is only allowed for specific reasons (including work, health and walking a pet) by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

It is reminded that the strict 6pm-5am curfew is already in force every day in all other areas in Greece that are of “red” status. Areas is “yellow” status follow the 9pm-5am curfew.

New restrictions

Besides extending the curfew for Attica, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki, Hardalias announced the following extra measures would also come into force for the three areas as of February 6:

– All high schools will remain closed and students will continue their lessons via tele-education (middle schools/gymnasium, primary schools, kindergartens and day care centers will remain open).

-All retail stores can only operate via the “click away” method (the “click in shop” method is suspended). The “click-away” method sees consumers making online or phone orders and picking up their purchases only outside of stores.

Ηairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons and vehicle inspection services (KTEO) will operate as previously under social distancing measures (1 person allowed per 25 sq.m.) and only by prearranged appointments.

– All retail stores (with click-away service) and businesses will be open exclusively from Monday to Friday, from 7 in the morning and until 8 in the evening. On Saturday they will be closed and only supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies and gas stations will operate. The operation of farmers markets on weekends is also suspended.

All extra measures for Attica, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki will remain in force until February 15, when they will be re-examined.

It is reminded that citizens in “red” areas must also follow the basic Covid-19 lockdown and health rules, which include mask wearing in all public places.

Greek health authorities on Friday announced 1,195 new coronavirus cases with the most cases recorded in the central Athens area of Attica (138) and Thessaloniki (150).

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in Greece has reached 162,107. With 19 deaths recorded on Friday, the Covid-19 death toll in the country has reached 5,922.

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