Update – 29/04/2020
April 29, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday evening, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 2,566. Two more people died in the past 24 hours, putting the death toll at 138. 40 patients are intubated in intensive care units, while 70 patients have left the intensive care unit.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis yesterday unveiled a long-awaited plan for the gradual lifting of restrictive measures imposed last month to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The first phase of the plan is to begin on May 4 when some retail stores, including bookshops and hair salons, will reopen, with others to follow suit later in the month.
Also from May 4, citizens will no longer have to send an SMS or carry a document citing their reason for leaving their home but a ban on leaving the region where they live will remain in place.
Cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen from June 1, but only with outdoor seating, as will shopping malls and year-round hotels.
From May 4, churches will reopen for individual prayer, but with restrictions on the number of worshippers allowed inside the church, while services will be permitted to resume from May 17.
As for schools, they are to open gradually, starting on May 11 with students of senior high.
More details about the government’s plan were presented by the deputy minister, who announced the creation of a permanent monitoring and intervention mechanism, “an observatory,” to combat the pandemic, record cases, and measure the risk index with the help of technological applications.
- The public will need to wear masks when using public transportation, Deputy Infrastructure and Transport Minister said yesterday. Precautions include maintaining social distancing, which would be facilitated by more frequent schedules during peak times for buses and other transportation. This will result in fewer schedules at non-peak times, which he said were from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight during the week.
- In addition, civil servants will go to work at ministries in stages, starting at 7 a.m. The same will hold in large businesses, to avoid crowding. To accomodate in-stage arrival, they will have to expand their operation hours, he said.
- For May, there will be no restrictions in private cars in Athens based on license plate numbers, and as of May 4, a driver will be allowed two passengers per car, instead of the current two that include the driver.
- Taxis will continue to carry a maximum one passenger, excepting a parent with underaged children or someone accompanying a person for medical reasons.
- Local government distant work would continue by rotation, while the public would be served by appointment only if online processing of an issue is not possible. New digital services will continue, as will the delivery of necessary papers by courier at home.
- Retirees clubs like KAPI and Friendship Clubs as well as city nurseries will remain shut, but open-air athletic courts will open, keeping health rules. Children’s open-air playing grounds and gyms will remain shut for the time being.
- The market would open in seven stages, one per week, and reviewed on a 24-hour basis. A total of 68,528 store employees will return gradually to work, starting with the May 4 opening of certain stores.
- Protective measures must be adopted also by driving schools. During in-classroom training, instructors and candidates must both wear face masks and gloves. Meanwhile, the number of candidates in the class will need to be reduced to half, while a safe distance must be kept between seats. Examiners and candidates will also need to wear protective gear during driving practice and the road test. It is recommended that the windows of the vehicle remain open during the test.