July 9, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 3,622. 21 of the 33 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, were travelers coming from abroad. The death toll remained stable at 193, as no new fatalities were reported since yesterday. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 9, while 121 patients have left the intensive care unit.
Greek health authorities have conducted 355,190 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the start of the year, of which 5,786, or 1.6%, came back positive. Of the total tests, 37,853 have been on passengers from incoming flights starting on June 12, of which 75, or 0.2%, were positive.
- Greek health authorities are increasing testing for the novel coronavirus at the Promachonas border crossing on the Greek-Bulgarian border, which serves as the main entryway for travelers from the Balkans. The decision to conduct more tests on travelers reaching the country by road comes after 36 people tested positive at the border on Monday and another 17 on Tuesday, raising concerns of an influx of cases. According to police officials at the border crossing quoted by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, around 90% of incoming travelers are being questioned and tested before being allowed into the country.
- Traffic was significantly reduced on Tuesday and Wednesday, the same officials said, though it is expected to pick up as the weekend approaches and holidaymakers try to reach Greece’s beaches. The combination of more travelers and increased testing is expected to cause significant delays. According to official figures, 103 of 183 confirmed coronavirus cases in Greece from July 1-7 concerned travelers coming from abroad, a rate of 56%. This is a sharp contrast to the previous period from the start of the lockdown to end-June when just 22.5% of cases were linked to travel abroad.
- Greece, along with Cyprus, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Portugal and Spain are classified as “orange zones” on the Belgian Foreign Ministry’s website where there is “high health risk” from the coronavirus. For these areas, Belgium strongly advises against traveling. Travelers who return from these countries will be asked to undergo screening and quarantine. Greek diplomats spoke with their Belgium counterparts on Wednesday and were again expected to hold a second discussion over the issue on Thursday, ANA-MPA news agency reported.
- Greece on Wednesday further eased restrictions imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus, according to a joint ministerial decision. The use of protective masks by customers inside shopping malls will no longer be mandatory. However, staff will still be obliged to wear a mask. Previous rules allowing no more than six customers per table at bars and restaurants have also been withdrawn.