As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 3,068. No new deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, leaving the total number of fatalities at 183. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 12, while 115 patients have left the intensive care unit.
Four schools in the city of Xanthi and the nearby borough of Drosero in northeastern Greece were closed for 10 days on Wednesday after a teacher who works in all four tested positive for coronavirus. Another teacher from a Muslim minority school on the municipality of Topiros also tested positive for the virus last Friday. Her school in the village of Iliopetra closed until June 19.
Amid concern about an increase in reported infections of Covid-19, Greek authorities decided that checks will be intensified, while new measures might be imposed to deal with localized spikes if necessary. The inspections are expected to focus on bars as well as public transport and ferries.
The government is keen to ensure that health protocols are being observed to the greatest extent possible ahead of the further opening of Greece’s borders to tourists on June 15. There are concerns about the stance of some businesses, particularly at popular summer destinations such as Mykonos, where a popular beach bar was closed for two months and slapped with a 20,000-euro fine after it allowed overcrowding.
Testing is to continue in Xanthi, where a relatively large number of cases was recorded in recent days though the situation is regarded as manageable. There is greater concern about the 30 foreign travelers who arrived in Greece since last Thursday, from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the US, and tested positive.
Several people have tested positive for coronavirus infection after attending a party in Thessaloniki in northern Greece which broke the country’s restrictions. Reports said that the party was organized by a student, who had traveled to Greece by car via Bulgaria. She had been obliged to stay in quarantine upon arrival. Authorities are reportedly trying to contact-trace everyone she has recently interacted with.
Greece will open its borders to flights from June 15 in accordance to all public health safety measures, according to the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection. Between June 15 – 30, international flights to Greece will be only allowed to land at Athens and Thessaloniki airports, under specific rules. Flights from abroad will be allowed into all airports in Greece as of July 1.
The maximum passenger capacity on all public transport in Greece, as well as intercity buses (KTEL) is increased to 65 percent from the current 50 percent, according to a joint ministerial decision issued on Tuesday. The decision will remain in place until June 14.
Lines 2 and 3 of the Athens metro will increase the frequency of service as of Tuesday, following a rise in commuter traffic since lockdown measures started being eased last month. Metro operator STASY said that the frequency between trains would be reduced from the current 5 minutes to 4.5 minutes during rush hour, from 7-11 a.m. and from 1.30-5.30 p.m. on Line 2 (Anthoupoli-Elliniko) and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Line 3 (Agia Marina-Doukissis Plakentias/Airport). The changes will not affect the ISAP electric railway between Piraeus and Kifissia or the tram.
Greece will begin to lift restrictions on the arrival of travelers from Italy, the foreign ministers of the two countries confirmed at a joint press conference on Tuesday. Greek Foreign Minister said that restrictions on tourism from Italy would start being lifted on Monday and that the easing would be a gradual process lasting through the end of June unless a fresh clampdown is warranted by a resurgence of coronavirus infections.
Starting Saturday, 7 June, bars, cafes and restaurants in Greece can use their indoor spaces for customers. There are limitations, however, on the number of customers they can take: one customer per 2.2 square meters (23.7 sq. ft.) of usable space is allowed, and, as before, no more than six customers per table. Also, customers may not stand by the bar and, if a buffet is served, serving must be done by restaurant personnel and customers must not enter into contact with the food on display.
Restaurants in hotels also opened on Saturday and foods and drinks can be provided in open-air events. On beaches, shops can sell food and drinks, including alcoholic ones, and play music, but authorities recommend against the gathering of crowds around these spots.