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Shopping conditions as Greece reopens retail, maintains some lockdown restrictions

Greece announced on Friday to open retail stores and malls, services and churches on Monday January 18, 2021. At the same time it maintains lockdown restrictions such as night curfew, travel ban between regions, the mandatory use of masks and movement with per SMS.

Citizens are free to do their shopping without previous appointments (click away, click in shop systems) also outside the municipality boundaries. Restriction is that they have to do their purchases within two hours.

Exception is for regions, municipalities and communities under tougher lockdown restrictions due to high epidemiological load. There, consumers must do their shopping per click away.

The reopening of the retail and services follows increase pressure by the sectors who shut down their businesses since November 7, 2020 with a small half-break over Christmas. Note that winter sales started in the country this week. Epidemiologists gave the green light for the reopening of the market, the government said earlier today.

Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, announced the conditions under which Greeks will do their shopping with the aim to protect public health.

Conditions for retail stores:

Stores can open from 7:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m. so that both consumers and workers have time to return home as the night curfew 9 p.m. – 5 a.m. remains in force.

Citizens will send SMS to 13033 with option <2>, that is “supplies at supermarkets etc.” Citizens can have also the handwritten note.

The consumer will have two hours to complete purchases.

“The consumer must keep the SMS message sent to 13033, in order to prove the time of sending and approval of his movement. Consumer will have 2 hours* to make each of his commercial transactions, starting from the time of sending and approving his transfer message.”

Customers allowed in shops is raised to 1 per 25 sq meters and the same is valid for malls, discount villages and discount outlets.

Distance of 2 meters must be observed between the customers during the waiting time at the cash register.

Booths where customers try clothes etc must be disinfected after use.

In the areas of increased risk, commercial stores will operate only with the system of delivery away (click away).

Retail stores can optionally open on Sunday, January 24, 2021 from 7 am to 8 pm

Fines** for offenders will be increased by 50% for both individuals and companies.

Retail Stores to open next to clothing, shoes, etc:

computers, telecommunication equipment, textiles, furniture, household appliances, sports items, cosmetics, flower and gardening shops, jewelry shops, clothing etc in open markets, bookstores etc. (full list in Greek here.)

Conditions for hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, dietary services, nails:

Distance between working places: 2 meters.

Customers will only arrive by appointment, by phone and electronically.

Businesses must complete a list of customer appointments at the start of their day, which will be displayed to the inspectors.

Mandatory use of protective mask for staff and customers.

Opening hours (optional) from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Optional operation on Sunday, January 24.

The restrictions also apply to four people for stores up to 100 sq.m. plus one person for every 25 sq.m. In addition, for services other than hairdressers, barbershops and dietetics, a plexiglass divider is required.

KTEO Service Customers will arrive only by appointment, by phone and electronic means.

Churches: 1 person per 25sq m, maximum 50 persons and mandatory use of mask.

Lockdown restriction to remain in force:

Night curfew from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. with the usual exceptions

Ban to travel between different regional units with the usual exceptions.

Restriction of movement and obligation to send SMS to 13033 (or fill up hand-written form.)

*two hours: some people on social media understood that once a consumer has completed the purchase or visit to a shop can send another SMS for continue shopping. I wouldn’t put my hand on fire for this interpretation.

Worth noting that Minister Georgiadis ruled out the reopening of restaurants, cafes etc at this point.

**fines: there maybe some clarification on the fines increase as the Prime Minister created some confusion earlier today.

PS all these scenarios leaked to the press in the last couple of days about opening of certain retail sectors only and under this or that conditions were just a torture for reporters and an endless water of time, nerves and resources. #justsaying.

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7 comments

  1. I live 40 mins out of Volos.. The trip there and back 80 mins.. 15 mins to find parking if I am lucky.. How in the fuck can I buy a pair of shoes I 2 hours and be home in town.. These rules are for people living in cities yes a big percentage of the people in Greece live in the sticks

  2. Another set of rules designed for city inhabitants only! Last time there was no mention of how villagers should get to their lands to tend vegetables, etc or their groves to pick their olives. Now we have this! On many islands it is a 50+minute drive to the shops so how do we have time for shopping!!>

  3. We live in the country side, it takes us 45 mins to get to the shops and 45 mins to return, leaves us 30 mins to shop? Does the 2 hours cover just the shopping only ? or do we have to include the travel time?………also how many people in the car ?

  4. Does the 2 hour window rule also apply to grocery shopping? Because I haven’t seen anything about a certain time since the beginning of the lockdown about groceries.

  5. If I have to go to town I will need to go by bus, with services to the village running every two-and-a-half hours and takinig 30 minutes per trip. Go figure. Fortunately I have no great need to get to the shops in town but I suppose some will have to deal with this problem.