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Greek gov’t is seeking dates for gradually lockdown lifting before Christmas

With the lockdown extension to be considered as certain, the Greek government is seeking ways to gradually open the market and avoid mistake of the past months. The nationwide lockdown was imposed on November 7 and initially until the 30th of the month. Basic criteria for the final decisions is the course of the coronavirus infections and the number of intubated Covid-19 patients, as despite the restrictions the flattening of the curve is very small to zero, especially in northern Greece .

Scenarios come and go, dates are added and erased and everybody is waiting for a new address to the nation by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He hinted on Tuesday that he does not intend to announce a plan next week with detailed dates on how the lockdown will be eased in December, but will go week by week depending on how the epidemiological situation unfolds.

While leaks to the press claim that schools, probably only primary schools and kindergartens, will be the first to open again on December 7, health experts warn that this would be “premature” and propose a week later.

Ahead of Christmas, retailers and consumers are holding their breath about the opening of stores. According to one scenario, this would take place in the middle of December, while another claim it will happen at the same time with the schools opening. The first to open are reportedly the seasonal shops and later the other stores.

A big puzzle is the opening of catering businesses expected to open much later yet before Christmas. Depending on the epidemiological data, only restaurants and cafes are expected to open for seated customers only with maximum 4 people per table and with strict health protocols. There is an option that they will open only outdoors, with customers sitting in coats and eating with hand-gloves under outdoors heaters.

Bar and entertainment facilities are not expected to open, media report.

It looks as if the movement restrictions will remain even if slightly modified so that people can go out for shopping and dining out. It is considered as certain that no movement from regional unit to regional unit will be allowed also over the holidays season to prohibit domestic tourism.

The committee of epidemiologists reportedly insists that the lockdown extends possibly for another two to three weeks. They expect that the number of deaths and intubated patients will remain high for at least one more week to ten days.

They estimate that significant decrease of daily cases should not be expected before the middle or the end of next month.

On its part, the government wants to see the epidemiological data of the next three days.

In Larissa, central Greece, stores are closed as everywhere in the country, however, shop owners lifted the rollers allowing window-shopping in festive pre-Christmas mood in a triste atmosphere with empty streets.

pictures via larissanet


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  1. so, as we already knew, lockdowns dont do anything to stop a virus (though they a great for destroying peoples lives and society as a whole, and they’re downright brilliant for a surging power rush for petty tyrants), but, we’re going to keep locking you down.
    Either these politicians are incompetent, or they are deliberately harming the nation. in the former case, they have no business anywhere near public office and must return to private life where they can only harm themselves. in the latter case, they belong in prison.

  2. It seems somwewhat ridiculous and beyond logical that the Government continues to lockdown everywhere in the country, even the islands with no or very low figures. I was full of praise and admiration for the Greek Government at the outset earlier in the year, everything was handles so well and with great thought, but I fear they are losing a grip and leading the entire country towards total financial ruin. We are ghetting fatigued with the persistent chnage in rules and regs. and no clear direction. Would it not seem financially logical to allow parts if the country that are below certain figures to open up as of the 1st December, with strict meausres and protocols in place so businesses – especially SME’s (Small Medium Enterpirses) have some chance of survival beyond 2020 and the hotspots remain under strict lockdown until the situation starts to improve in those areas.

    It seems ironic that the same Governement allowed tens of thousands of its citizens to ‘escape’ mainland to safer areas (in particular the islands) prior lockdown without tests carried out when they people arirved at chosen ‘safe’ haven and those areas now have cases that never existed before.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with RB’s comment.

      As acknowledged now by the government the mandatory use of masks in and outdoors together with the implementation of much tighter restrictions in Attica and Thessaloniki and general restrictions on travel within the country should have happened much sooner and would have undoubtedly had some impact on numbers, but as they didn’t we now are here.

      There are currently areas and islands with few or no cases that could be functioning relatively normally. In general these areas and islands rely heavily on tourism which has already been decimated this year and they need all the help they can get now to be here for next and many more summer seasons.

      There needs to be a realisation that proposals put forward for retail re-opening like “click and collect” simply will not work on small islands, in villages or even sizeable towns, so a one size fits all is just not the solution. .

      There needs to be some hope and help from the government for these SME’s and the population sooner rather than later to keep the people “on side.”

      • I suppose it was much too complicated for the government to keep some areas in lockdown and some not. after a certian point they were overwhelmed.

    • I was hoping to be in Rhodes for Christmas but as flights booked next week from Australia will reschedule To January there is to much uncertainty with further restrictions or not being announced next week certainly do not want to come all that way fro Christmas in lockdown.