Greece will not lift coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown restrictions for the upcoming Easter holiday, keeping the rule that bans travel between regions in place until May 15.
Addressing the Greek public in national broadcast, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined that Attica and other large Greek cities still have many Covid-19 cases and that any mass movement of citizens between the country’s regions carries the risk of the virus spreading everywhere.
“I have said that our goal is a safe Easter and a free summer. But the former cannot undermine the latter. That’s why we should not travel at Easter… We must not only think about our holidays, but also about the health of the inhabitants of our villages and islands,” Mitsotakis said.
The Greek Easter this year will be celebrated on May 2. Under normal circumstances, travel to the countryside and islands would begin prior to Easter weekend, which begins this year on April 30.
It is reminded that, according to the Greek government’s lockdown rules, movement between Greek regions is only allowed for health and work reasons.
Roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions
According to the Greek PM, provided that Greece does not face a new upsurge of Covid-19 cases after Easter, the government will ease lockdown restrictions in three stages:
– On Monday, May 3, the outdoor areas of restaurants, cafes and all F&B establishments will reopen under health rules that include frequent mandatory self-testing for employees. All tables and seats in outdoor areas must be arranged to allow for social distancing. Also, the night curfew will begin at 11pm (until 5am) instead of 9pm as it is today.
– On Monday, May 10, junior high schools and primary schools will reopen. Mandatory self-testing for Covid-19 will apply for all students, teachers and administrative staff. Health and safety rules will apply in classrooms.
– On Saturday, May 15, travel between Greek regions will be allowed. Also, as previously announced, tourism will reopen for visitors who have been fully vaccinated or have been tested negative to Covid-19. Also, some cultural activities will be allowed.
Moreover, the Greek PM announced that the vaccination platform for residents of Greece aged over 30 is expected to open next week.
“The goal is to spread the wall of immunity in the country even faster,” Mitsotakis said.
It is noted that the vaccination platform for those over 30 according to the government’s schedule, was scheduled to start in May.
Greek health authorities on Wednesday announced 3,015 new coronavirus cases and 86 deaths.
Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 323,639. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 9,713.