Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Saturday noon the new, stricter measures for curbing the spread of Covid-19, including the closing of restaurants, bars, theaters and movie theaters, coffee shops, and gyms by Tuesday and through November.
The measures will take effect on Tuesday morning and will be valid for one month and include, among other things, the closure of restaurants in Attica, as well as in all the “orange” areas. The new measures are deemed necessary after the increase in cases which reached 1,690 on Friday.
The address to Greek people and announcement of the measures was delayed by one day after the deadly earthquake that hit Smyrna in Turkey and neighboring Samos in Greece.
“The number of cases is increasing exponentially in Europe and our country as well. And scientists warn that, soon, the new pandemic will shake the resilience of the National Health System. Testing not only patients but also our doctors and nurses,” Mitsotakis said.
“As in the spring we managed to repel the virus and in the summer we restarted the economy and tourism, controlling all difficulties, so now we have to move cautiously again. And with a dynamic plan in November to claim a more optimistic December. With as smooth a social life as possible and more activity in the Christmas and holiday market,” He said.
“Unfortunately,” the prime minister said, “the coronavirus knows how to go through the cracks of the negligence of a few, which undermines the effort of many. And good weather ceases to be our ally, as we will soon spend more and more time indoors.”
“That is why we must act now. Now. Before the Intensive Care Units buckle under the weight of endangered lives. Now. Where we have the ability to detect and track cases,” he continued.
Mitsotakis also said that instead of four zones, Greece will no be divided in two, Monitoring and Increased Risk.
The use of a mask is mandatory everywhere, indoors and outdoors, while there is a curfew between midnight and 5am. Fifty percent of employees in the public and private sector will be doing tele-work, while universities will operate on distance learning alone. No crowding is allowed in open and closed spaces while social distancing and care of personal hygiene will continue to be the norm.
The new restrictions, Mitsotakis said, “will take effect at 6am on Tuesday and will focus on the two factors that have been found to increase the transmission of the virus: entertainment and mobility, while maintaining the operation of retail stores and schools throughout the territory. Businesses such as hotels and hairdressers remain open, because there the data show that the problem is under control.”
And the prime minister concluded: “The State today presents its plan with the aim of staying healthy, until the vaccine marks the dawn of a new, bright reality. That moment must find us standing and united. Ready to overcome this national test, as only we Greeks know. We can and we will do it “.