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Covid-19: Retail Stores in Thessaloniki and Achaia Open Doors on Monday

Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Greece’s General Secretariat of Civil Protection has announced that shops in the regional units of Thessaloniki and Achaia will re-open to consumers next week, as of Monday, April 12, under Covid-19-secure guidelines.

Speaking during the Covid-19 media briefing, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias said that retail stores in Thessaloniki will operate only by the “click away” method, while shops in Achaia can service consumers by both the “click away” and “click in shop” methods.

On the other hand, he said that retail stores will not open in Kozani, due to increased coronavirus cases.

It is reminded that shops in the three mentioned areas were not allowed to open last week when Greece’s retail sector restarted operations.

How consumers can shop

Photo source: Athens Chamber of Tradesmen

Photo source: Athens Chamber of Tradesmen

Authorities have put a three-hour limit per shopper so as to avoid crowding in retail stores. To go shopping, citizens must send an SMS to the five-digit 13032 mobile phone service to request permission of movement.

Greece’s “click away” shopping method sees consumers making online or phone orders and picking up their purchases only outside of stores. The “click in shop” method sees consumers making appointments (online or by phone) in advance to shop in person inside retail stores.

Hardalias added that as of Saturday the “click in shop” method will see a maximum of 25 customers allowed to shop at the same time in a retail store (one customer per 25 sq.m. in stores up to 500 sq.m.). Stores that measure over 500 sq.m., are allowed to have an additional customer for every 100 sq.m.

In addition, the deputy minister announced that OPAP betting shops (except OPAP play stores) will operate from Monday, April 12, under social distancing measures as previously.

Restaurants & cafes, Travel between prefectures

Photo source: Athens Chamber of Tradesmen

Photo source: Athens Chamber of Tradesmen

During the briefing, Hardalias was asked when domestic travel (movement from prefecture to prefecture) would be allowed and when Greece’s restaurants and cafes would re-open. More specifically, he was asked if restrictions on both activities would be lifted in time for when the country begins to officially welcome tourists from May 14.

The deputy minister requested for all to “be patient” on the two issues.

“We are still several weeks away from May 14 and for us the important thing, first and foremost, is to monitor the progress daily and make the relevant and necessary decisions,” Hardalias said and reminded that countries across Europe are currently facing a fourth Covid-19 wave.

¨We are fighting with all our strength, through a specific strategy, for what concerns the third wave,” he stressed.

“I think it is understandable to everyone that we (the government) too would like for everything to be constantly open, but we are forced to implement a specific strategy,” the deputy minister said, adding that the tendency to re-open activities and then close them again is required by the health data which is monitored daily throughout the country.

Update of Greece’s Covid-19 risk-assessment map

During Friday’s briefing, Hardalias said the regional unit of Kos and the municipality of Ilida (Ilia) were being moved to Covid-19 ‘dark red’ level (very high-risk) on Greece’s coronavirus risk-assessment map due to a rise in cases.

Other areas in Greece already in ‘dark red’ are: the region of Attica; the regional units of Thessaloniki, Achaia, Viotia, Evia (except the municipalities of Mantoudi-Limni-Agia Anna and Istiaia-Edipsos), Evritania, Arcadia, Corinth, Halkidiki, Kilkis, Pella, Kozani, Lesvos, Zakynthos, Mykonos; and the municipalities of Kalymnos, Leros, Rhodes, Chios, Anogia (Rethymno), Chania, Ioannina, Konitsa, Lamia, Lokra, Amphipoli (Serres), Veria, Serres, Karditsa, Kastoria, Orestidos and Grevena.

For further information (in Greek) on the restrictive measures in ‘red’ and ‘dark red’ areas, press here. The map is updated every week.

Greek health authorities on Friday announced 2,747 new coronavirus cases and 78 deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 290,964. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 8,758.

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