Greek authorities are planning to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions and allow retail shops to reopen from March 22 or March 29.
Speaking on Parapolitika 90.1 radio on Tuesday, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis clarified that when shops re-open, they will not be obliged operate with the “click away” method that saw consumers making online or phone orders and picking up their purchases outside of stores. Instead, consumers will be allowed to physically enter shops to make purchases but only after having previously sent an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033. According to the minister, consumers must do their shopping within a specific time limit that will be announced.
With regard to businesses of the food and beverages (F&B) sector, the minister said their re-opening will most likely take place at a later date – possibly as of April 15 – depending on the course of vaccinations.
Georgiadis clarified that the government will initially open only cafes and restaurants that offer outdoor seating areas.
Secondary education next to open
According to Greek health experts, after the retail sector re-opens, schools (middle and high schools) should be the next to open their doors.
Speaking on SKAI TV, Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, professor of environmental engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, said the coronavirus pandemic is reaching its climax with the number of cases expected to begin to drop as of this weekend.
He agreed that that Greek economy could reopen from March 22 and that middle and high schools should follow, but not elementary schools.
“We expect the Covid-19 variants to continue spreading in the community and elementary schools could play a multiplying role. It is better to wait,” he said, adding that older students are believed follow safety measures more carefully.
Greece on Monday reported 3,215 new coronavirus cases – its highest daily count – and 46 deaths.