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Athens, Attica to go into Hard Covid-19 Lockdown

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis announcing stricter measures for the Region of Attica.

Lockdown restrictions in Athens and the surrounding Attica region will get tougher as of Thursday, February 11, and last until the end of the month, due to the recent spike in single-day confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infections and the mutations of the virus.

“Based on the new data, I take responsibility for the additional measures for the protection of public health,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday evening while addressing the Greek public in national broadcast.

It is reminded that Attica was placed at Level B-red (strict measures) on the re-activated color-coded risk-assessment map on January 30.

Mitsotakis made the announcement following a recommendation by the health ministry’s expert committee, which expressed high concern of the cases reported in the Region of Attica, which also includes central Athens.

“Two facts worry us greatly. On the one hand, the increase of hospitalizations in Attica… and, on the other, the mutations of the virus that seem to accelerate its transmissibility,” the PM stressed.

Attica’s full lockdown will run until February 28.

As of Thursday, the operation of all retail stores in Attica will be suspended, including those operating with online or phone orders (click-away method).

All levels of education will also close and students will follow lessons once again remotely via tele-education.

Photo source: Athens Traders Association (ESA)

“We must defend ourselves against the last attack of the virus before the final victory of the vaccination,” PM Mitsotakis said, adding that the state will continue to support households and businesses for as long as the crisis lasts.

Further details on Attica’s new measures will be explained on Wednesday at noon by Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

According to reports, all hairdressers, beauty salons and bookstores in Attica will also be closed. Churches are said to hold services but without the presence of worshippers.

Only supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies and gas stations are expected to remain open. Food delivery and take away services are also expected to remain in operation.

Photo source: Athens Traders Association (ESA)

Sources say that the existing 9pm-5am overnight curfew will remain on weekdays and switch to 6pm-5am on weekends, as previously announced.

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

Greek health authorities on Tuesday announced 1,526 new coronavirus cases (731 were recorded in Attica) and 20 deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 166,067. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 6,017.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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