As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 3,088. 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 14, while 115 patients have left the intensive care unit.
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection announced restrictions for the region of Xanthi in northeastern Greece, after 15 coronavirus infections were reported there in one day, while imposing a curfew on the village of Echinos, where most of the cases were traced.
Residents of Echinos will be prohibited from leaving their homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. for the next seven days during which period all primary schools and kindergartens will be closed and the use of a face mask will be compulsory in public places. In the broader region of Xanthi the use of face masks will be compulsory in all shops and other businesses.
The railway operator Trainose will as of today switch on the thermal cameras it has installed at the two main railway stations in Athens and Thessaloniki as an additional precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus and for the protection of passengers and staff. The thermal cameras have been placed at the entrance to the platforms at Larissis station in Athens and at Neos Stathmos (New Station) in Thessaloniki.
Experts are urging citizens to try harder to observe health protocols aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus following a spike in infections and as Greece prepares to open its borders to tourists. Health authorities are particularly concerned about reports of widespread flouting of health and safety regulations over the long weekend, including overcrowding in bars and on ferries. Experts have also expressed particular concern about overcrowding on public transport, ferries and bars, as it is difficult to trace contacts in the event that someone tests positive for the virus.
The Panhellenic Medical Association said the strict observance of health and safety protocols is the key to protecting the country from the pandemic. As it is impossible for tests to be conducted on the 5 to 10 million tourists expected to visit Greece this year, citizens must take responsibility, it said.
GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT MEASURES
In an attempt to boost domestic travel and revive tourism after the impact of Covid-19, the Greek Labor Ministry announced that it would be increasing the social tourism subsidy this year covering for the first time ferry fares for eligible Greek recipients. More specifically, the government has decided to triple the budget for the 2020-2021 social tourism program from 10 million euros to 30 million euros.
This year’s program will go out to 300,000 people up from 140,000 last year and the additional ferry fare coverage is aimed at stimulating travel particularly to the Greek islands. OAED is expected to cover a larger part of the accommodation cost compared to last year thus reducing recipients’ share.
Additional changes this year include support for accommodation at 2- to 5-star hotels breakfast included; increased number of overnight stays; extra incentives for travel to the islands of Lesvos, Leros, Samos, Chios and Kos, and to the border region of Evros; and full coverage to people with disability.
According to the 2020-2021 program, OAED will cover 81 percent of all travel costs leaving 19 percent to the beneficiaries. Indicatively, under the revised program a one-week holiday for a four-member family (two children under 10) to an island destination for six nights at a 3-star hotel, breakfast included, will be covered as follows by OAED: 600 euros for accommodation and 55 euros roundtrip ferry fare.