Coronavirus: Greece relaxes restrictions in 7 stages

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by Urs Raber

Thanks to early introduction of contact restrictions, Greece has so far coped comparatively well with the corona pandemic. Greece has one of the lowest mortality rates per 100 000 inhabitants in Europe. Only one person has been infected on Lefkada so far. More cautious and later than other countries, the government in Athens is now beginning of easing restrictions. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis explained the schedule in a television address on Tuesday evening.

From Monday 4 May 2020, the smaller of the retail shops, electrical stores, bookstores, opticians and hairdressers that have been closed since mid-March will be allowed to reopen. At the same time, the curfew will be removed. The beaches, except the commercial beaches, will be reopened. However, supra-regional private travel remains prohibited for a further two weeks.

The public market in Lefkada is expected to open again on 18. Mai 2020.

On 1 June, Open-air restaurants and cafés can reopen. However, there are conditions: A maximum of four people or parents with children are allowed at a table. A distance of two metres is required between the tables.
Allowed to reopen are also the year-round hotels. The holiday hotels will probably be able to receive guests again from July onwards.
Also allowed to open again, are all remaining retail businesses (except shopping malls).

In the coming days the government is expected to announce further guidelines for restaurants, leisure facilities, hotels, beauty salons, swimming pools and beaches.

However, it is uncertain when foreign visitors can arrive. The re-launch of international air traffic will be discussed within the EU. A conference call on Tuesday evening did not result in a resolution. Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said to Bloomberg: “We hope that the European Commission will demonstrate the necessary leadership capacity to expedite the talks and agreements. But even if this does not happen, we are willing to establish our own rules and, of course, try to reach agreements with source countries,”

For details of the initial phase, see the picture below:

Further phases:

Stage 3: May 18: Archaeological sites, zoos and botanical gardens
Stage 4: June 1: Shopping malls, outdoor restaurants and cafes
Stage 5: Summer cinemas, year-round hotels
Stage 6: Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor playgrounds
Stage 7: Indoor restaurants and cafes, seasonal hotels and resorts, indoor sports facilities

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