Greek authorities on Thursday announced the easing of restrictions for a number of social activities following signs of improvement in Greece’s coronavirus (Covid-19) data.
Speaking during a Covid-19 media briefing, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias informed that the epidemiological picture of Greece continues to show improvement, as the number of new cases and those hospitalized are decreasing.
“The improvement of the epidemiological data in combination with the ongoing vaccination program, allows us to proceed with the lifting of additional restrictive measures for the restart of other activities,” Hardalias said.
More specifically, the deputy minister announced that as of Saturday, June 19, amusement parks and wellness services will be permitted to resume operations.
Amusement parks will operate under strict social distancing measures while all customers and staff must wear masks at all times.
The resumption of wellness services includes the reopening of spas, therapeutic baths and thermal springs and will take place in accordance to strict health measures.
The deputy minister also announced that indoor movie theaters will reopen as of July 1 under a 50 percent capacity limit. Moviegoers will be allowed to enter after booking their seat online and showing either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a negative self-test result at the door. Masks must be worn at all times in indoor movie theaters.
With regard to people wearing masks while exercising in gyms, he said that those with a vaccination certificate are exempt from the rule.
Slight rise in the epidemiological burden in tourist destinations
On her part, Vana Papaevaggelou, infectious diseases specialist and member of the Covid-19 health committee, said that the number of active cases in Greece has significantly decreased, by almost 40 percent.
According to Papaevaggelou, most of the country’s regional units are turning “green” on the Covid-19 risk-assessment map, with the exception of West Attica, Evia, Thessaly and Florina, where the virus is still spreading.
She added that in some tourist destinations, such as Kos, Santorini, Paros and Mykonos, despite the small number of new cases, there is an increase in the epidemiological burden “that needs special attention”.
“The committee proposes to boost the epidemiological surveillance in tourist areas, as well as checks on workers in the tourism sector,” Papaevaggelou said.
During the briefing it was announced that tourism employees that are not yet vaccinated will now be required to self-test twice a week. The state will cover the expense for the first test and employers will pay for the second.
“Although the epidemiological picture as a whole is very satisfactory, the frequent small outbreaks in various parts of the country, remind us that the pandemic is not over and that the close continuous monitoring of epidemiological data and the observance of measures by all of us is necessary,” she added.
Greek health authorities on Thursday announced 519 new coronavirus cases, with the Region of Attica accounting for 256 and Thessaloniki for 52. The number of deaths from Covid-19 was 16.
Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 417,253 with the death toll now at 12,494.