Greece’s authorities placed the regional unit of Kozani, in north-western Greece, in tougher lockdown restrictions for one week due to high epidemiological load, head of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias announced on Friday evening.
The tougher lockdown starts at 06:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2020, and is in force for seven days. the curfew is extended by three hours.
Hardzlias said that there are currently 397 active coronavirus cases in the region of Kozani, while 81 people are hospitalized; there average age is 53. He added that some 816 close contacts were revealed by contacts tracing there, who are all self-isolating at home. Of the 397 cases, 199 are in Kozani proper and 134 in Eordea.
The fact that 73.2% of the active cases and those who came into close contact with them, are associated with travelling and visiting other municipalities within Kozani region, “forces us to impose stricter measures across the entire region,” Hardalias stressed.
Curfew at Kozani region will begin at 18:00 (3 hours earlier than usual in other Greek regions) and run to 05:00 the following morning. Employees who need to go to work will need special permits issued by their employers.
The entire retail sector will be shut down, including open-air markets (laiki). Bookshops, hairdressers and barbers, nail salons will also be closed. In addition, customers will not be allowed to pick up online orders (click-away method) over the next week.
Churches and all worship places will be shut and all services banned except for funerals, which will be limited to 10 attendees.
Citizens in these municipalities will be rapid-tested en masse by the National Public Health Organization’s (EODY) medical staff, while local workers, especially at the region’s industrial zones, will be tested over 10 days (on the 1st, 5th and 10th days).
Workers at local nursing homes will be rapid-tested every 5 days.
Finally, face masks will be distributed to everyone at Kozani region, free of charge.
Medical teams from the National Public Health Organization (EODY), together with Civil Protection staff and health experts, are heading to Kozani to help contain the situation, Hardalias noted.
he added that after 7 days, epidemiologists will evaluate the course of the pandemic and decide of either lifting or extending the tougher restrictions.
The tougher lockdown in Kozani comes a day after Hardalias announced a similar tougher restrictions regime for for three municipalities in western Attica as of Friday morning.