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“Gradual lockdown lifting in Greece to start early May,” says Gov’t spokesman

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced that the gradually lifting of lockdown restrictions may start in the first days of May and may be completed by mid-June, if the course of the coronavirus pandemic continues in the same modus, the virus curve flattens and there is no resurgence of the pandemic in the country. According to latest official data on Monday, death toll is at 99, total confirmed cases at 2,145 and total CoVID-19 tests conducted in Greece 43,417.

Speaking to Meta TV on Monday evening, Petsas said “until April 27, all data and thoughts about the gradual lifting of the restrictions will have been collected from all relevant ministries. It will be decided next week, so that all Greeks will know by the end of the month what will happen.”

He stressed that “the hardest part will be when some sectors of the economic activity will start opening again, but some others will be restricted.”

He added that “there will be timely information about which sectors will open first, what will happen to schools schools and tourism.”

He added that the financial support measures of the government will be expanded to May and June.

“There is no doubt that some restrictions will continue in June,” he said. And added “that’s is why we will extend the support measures in May and June – until June 15.

“From the beginning of May until the 15th of June, there will be economy activities that will be open provided that we do not have setbacks,” Petsas said.

He did not elaborate, but media like Star TV reported on Monday that among the first businesses to open when the lockdown is gradually lifted will be the hairdresser’s and thus with strict criteria such as appointment to avoiding crowding.

Small retail stores could also open in the first phase but criteria will have to be followed like in supermarkets under the lockdown, so to hinder crowding.

Bars, cafes and restaurants could open in the second phase sometime in June, with tables outside and in a safety distance to each other.

Travel restrictions could be lifted after mid-June or in early July. Star TV reported that especially tourists from abroad will have to show an “anti-bodies certificate” before they go on board of an airplane.

There is the possibility to allow culture gatherings for up to 50 people, however, the famous summer festivals with large participation are very unlikely to take place in summer 2020.

With regards to the movement restrictions in the first phase, there maybe be additional options in the movement permits and there are thoughts to exclude members of vulnerable groups and/or elderly from contacting the active population like their children and grandchildren.

What is interesting is that a court ruled that grandparents have the right to contact their grandchildren via skype, viber and other means but not in physical presence due to the coronavirus restrictions. The court had to deal with a case of “precautionary measures” when a mother of a 5.5-year-old child did not allow her parents-in-law to see the child claiming the pandemic.

“Based on experts’ suggestions, we know that there will be a second wave of the pandemic in the fall,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in his interview.

More on coronavirus in Greece here.

PS Nobody talks about when the swimming ban will be lifted, though…

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8 comments

  1. Really do think that May is too early, it would be a great shame to undo all of the hard work that hospital staff and most of the general public have done to stop this terrible virus.

  2. The requirement for an “antibodies certificate”will rule Out visitors from the UK, unless testing kits become widely available. Perhaps the airlines should be providing them in advance? They have the means to freight them if necessary.

    • I didn’t think there were any antibody tests available anywhere in the world yet.

      • There are dozens available in the USA, though none have proven capable of identifying CV19 specifically. One firm issued its third version yesterday – and this time they’re confident they’ve nailed the problem.

        Put another way, be certain a reliable test will be on the market by June. Whether it’ll be produced in the volumes we’ll need is mute.

    • There is no evidence that the presence of antibodies provides immunity. All immunity successes of the past have been through vaccines, not through suffering the illness. Moreover, there are no reliable antibody tests. The idea of an antibodies certificate is political nonsense. Even the tests for active covid-19 are not reliable, and have to be taken two or three times to be reasonably sure.

      People are jumping the gun, because manipulative politicians (as in the UK and USA) are talking rubbish as usual. Greece is behaving reasonably well, but the best case is actually Germany.

  3. The Antibody certificate is fake news from Skai, no way that would work and people would just forge it if they had to. No tourist would carry a paper with them saying if they are ill or not. Anyway foreigners coming without quarantine will probably happen in June.

  4. Antibody tests would achieve little. Few people in overall population have had Corona. Of those that have, how many would visit Greece. Add to that the unknown possibility of contracting again,fear will put people off. An addition some may have missed is the threat of large numbers that visit all Inclusives. Surely they are little better than cruise ships with virtually captive guests. There was a small one early in The Canaries.