As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday evening, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 2,853. Two new fatalities took the total death toll to 168. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 21, while 98 people have left the intensive care unit.
The Health Ministry adviser and spokesman stressed the need for continued vigilance, pointing to recent international studies offering compelling evidence that the novel coronavirus spreads swiftly through the air and especially in enclosed spaces where people are in close proximity.
Greece’s deputy minister for Civil Protection, sought to address concerns over the government’s plans to reopen tourism to visitors from abroad as of July 1, without subjecting them to coronavirus tests and a mandatory quarantine period. He said that travelers coming from abroad will continue to be quarantined for 14 days until May 21 but added that the decision to stop this measure from that date is also based on the fact that from the 2,236 passengers who traveled to Greece between May 13 and 20, only one tested positive for coronavirus.
The Deputy Minister said that the next easing measure will concern sea travel, which began sparingly this week and will be extended next week to all the Greek islands. He also confirmed that elementary schools, kindergartens and crèches would be allowed to reopen on June 1, following encouraging signs from the opening of the country’s middle and high schools.
GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT MEASURES
Finance Minister said on Thursday that the government will address the issue of additional tax cuts after October as any decisions will depend on the course of the coronavirus pandemic, on Greece’s fiscal performance and on the cash the country has in its coffers.
The Greek government on Wednesday pledged to reduced value-added tax on transport and catering services as part of efforts to prop up battered tourism-related businesses, but has not yet agreed on other cuts being demanded by other sectors.
However, the Finance Minister did suggest that the government may introduce reductions to social security benefits paid by employers and employees, a measure that it seen as essential to protecting jobs.