The total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 2,937. The number of fatalities rose to 179. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 11.
12 from the 19 infections recorded in the past 24 hours concerned passengers from a flight from Qatar that landed in Athens’ International Airport on Monday, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
On Monday, authorities reopened primary schools, hotels, open-air cinemas, golf courses and public swimming pools.
Greece on Tuesday announced they were suspending flights to and from Qatar until mid-June, after 12 out of 91 passengers in a Qatar Airways flight that landed in Athens on Monday tested positive for the coronavirus. All passengers in the flight from Doha to Athens’ International Airport were tested and quarantined in hotels until they got their results back, in line with the current health protocols.
Those infected will remain in the hotels for two weeks, while those who tested negative will have to stay for seven days as they are considered close high and low risk contacts, the authority said. Health officers will repeat the tests on the passengers who tested negative after a week.
Restrictions aimed at curbing traffic congestion in downtown Athens that were lifted during the coronavirus lockdown will not be reimposed until after the summer, allowing all motorists to enter the city on any day of the week. According to a ministerial decision issued on Monday, the lifting of restrictions is being extended until Friday, July 17.
Greek health authorities will carry out antibody tests on 16 islands next week, the head of the National Public Health Organization (EODY) told radio station Praktoreio FM on Tuesday. With the tourism season officially launching on June 15, when hotels reopen and incoming flights are allowed, the move is part of an EODY initiative to conduct coronavirus tests and ascertain the health infrastructure needs of islands ahead of the reopening to tourists next month.
Mobile health laboratories have collected sample checks at the islands of Milos, Sifnos, Folegandros and Kimolos. The entire Cyclades island complex accounts for only four of the country’s total reported coronavirus cases.
In a separate announcement, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday it had secured an antibody test that will be first performed first on all healthcare professionals and employees in the National Health System across the country by the end of June. Some hospitals and health centers in the Attica region began using these tests on Monday.
The ministries of Interior, Citizens’ Protection, Labor and Development issued a series of guidelines on Tuesday aimed at making the experience of organized beaches fun, without jeopardizing the health of staff and customers alike.
The new rules allow beach bars to serve beverages like coffee and fresh fruit juice, as well as packaged food at the counter to-go and at customers’ umbrellas. However, they prohibit music and customers from gathering at the bar in a bid to discourage a party atmosphere, while also banning organized events like parties, as well as group sports such as beach volleyball or soccer.
Under the rules, beach clubs can only host 40 customers per 1,000 square meters and must maintain a distance of at least 4 meters between sun umbrellas. Violations of these rules carry a fine of between 5,000 and 25,000 euros as well as the threat of closure for 15-20 days.
From Tuesday until Sunday, June 7, executives of Greek ambulance service (EKAB) will visit the islands of Leros, Sifnos, Patmos, Anafi, Lipsi, Santorini, Sikinos and Ios to inspect readiness levels of all health officials, Coast Guard personnel and local authorities and to ensure they are up to speed regarding the observance of individual protection measures and the management of suspected cases of the coronavirus.
Greece will pay for the accommodation of any tourist who tests positive for the coronavirus during their visit, government spokesman Stelios Petsas told journalists on Monday.
The reopening of the hotels on Monday, June 1, come with mandatory health and safety protocols to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission to employees and customers. Rules that must be followed by all hotels in Greece:
All hotel employees must wear a face mask and disposable gloves. Reception staff may wear a face shield.
All hotel employees must follow basic rules to avoid Covid-19 transmission: Hand hygiene, use of antiseptics, avoidance of handshakes, keeping physical distance, avoiding contact of hands with the face and generally observing personal and respiratory hygiene measures.
Proper management of a suspected coronavirus case.
Log book for the recording of incidents related to the prevention or treatment of a possible Covid-19 case.
Provision of disinfectant for hands at the dining area’s entrance. Staff must make sure that it is used by customers.
Staff must maintain the required distances when serving customers at the buffet.
All hotels must install sneeze guards (protective food guards that protect buffet line entrées and sides from airborne contaminants).
The food at the buffet will be served only by the hotel’s kitchen staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves). The customer should not come in contact of the customer with the food and utensils at the buffet.
It is recommended for food to be placed in individual packets in areas where staff is not serving.
Automatic coffee machines, juicers, etc., should only be used by the staff (who will be properly equipped with masks and gloves).
Only packaged individual side dishes are provided with drinks.
Room service is encouraged at no extra charge.
The government decision underlines that all hotel employees will be obliged to follow an educational/training program focused on the health protocols. Anyone associated with the hotel that are found to be violating the health protocols will be punished with fines between 500 to 5,000 euros, while the hotel’s operation may be suspended from 15 to 90 days. The health protocols are applied until December 31.
The all-male monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece reopened its doors to pilgrims on Monday, on the condition that they are in possession of the special permits required. Entry is also allowed to all employees of the monasteries of the Athonite State. Visitors numbers, however, will be limited to 15 people per monastery.
The ticket office of Ouranoupoli where tickets are purchased for the ferry ride to the monastic community opened Monday, while the daily service of the high-speed Panagia vessel from Ierissos to the Holy Monastery of Megisti Lavra also began. Cruises to Mount Athos begin on June 15.