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Stricter lockdown, curfew extension are being mulled for Attica

Health experts recommend stricter lockdown and curfew extension for the regional unit of Attica due to an increase of coronavirus infections. This was decided on Thursday at a meeting of members of the health experts committee advising the government on issues of the pandemic. The last word depends on the government, though.

Epidemiologists told media on Friday morning that the proposed restrictions include postponement of reopening of gymnasiums and lyceums scheduled for February 1, extension of curfew from 6:00 p.m. instead of the nationwide 9:00 pm, new restrictions for retail stores and possible shut down of services like hair-salons.

Speaking to Open TV, infectious diseases professor and committee member Nikos Sipsas said that said the purpose of such measures would be to contain transmission of the virus in Greek capital Athens before the situation becomes critical. He noted that occupancy at Attica’s intensive care units for Covid-19 has reached 60% and hospitals admissions are on the rise.

“No one wants Attica to be at the mercy of the pandemic,” he said.

However, placing the area which is home for some 4 to 5 million people in stricter lockdown is not an easy task and competes with business interests.

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis insists that retail remains open. “I want stores open,” he told media earlier today.

According to state-broadcaster ERT there are thought for click in shop for clothing and shoes stores only and click away for the rest of retail sector.

Another crucial issue is, of course, the opening hours of stores, if the curfew extends to 6 p.m.

There is currently one more meeting of the committee members taking place before the new measures are officially announced at 6 pm today, Friday.

The measures are reportedly for initially 15 days.

According to Ant1 TV Friday noon, next to Attica also some other regions like Evia, parts of Achaia and Halkidiki, islands like Mykonos and Santorini may also be placed in stricter lockdown.

Regarding schools, Deputy Education Minister, Zeta Makri, said that it is official that gymnasiums and lyceums will reopen on Monday, February 1, but not in regions marked “red.”

Health experts will evaluate the situation and decide about Gymnasiums in “red” areas a week later, ERT TV said.

Some health experts attribute the increase of infections to the opening of retail since last week, others say the impact has not been seen yet.

Business owners are in shock in view of the perspective to have to shut down their shops again. they say that they keep all protection measures inside their stores.

However, crowding was observed on main commercial streets in the Greek capital as consumers queued outside shops.

Fact is that every opening of a sector sends also a message to citizens about the course of the pandemic; a possible “wrong message” as many start to relax compliance with protection measures such as properly wearing a mask.

The government opened horizontal the whole retail including malls and discount villages implying that “we bet the virus again” as it has done in the past with the known consequences.

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  1. i suppose it would never occur to these dictators to let people decide for themselves what risk they are willing to accept for what benefit. anyone who doesnt want to be out around a lot of other people, he is free to stay home. anyone who is not afraid of catching the bug , why lock him up? of course the whole ‘we are doing it for your safety’ story has been a dishonest sales pitch ever since it was invented. people need to stand up and take responsibility for their own lives back into their own hands and say, ‘no, you may not decide for me , i do not authorize you to protect me or restrict others on my behalf, i do not need or want you “advocating” for me and stepping on other peoples rights and liberties, you do not speak for me’ !

  2. Dear “a.citizen
    it is amazing to realise that there are a few people like you in Greece. The majority of people in this country disagree with you, especially the families and friends of the almost 6000 people who have died due to contracting covid-19 since the onset of this pandemic.

    I am sure that the majority of our population have made their own decisions and say that they prefer to remain virus free. No one can be totally happy with these restrictions but the options being used are the best available. You are welcome to disagree and, as you are so certain there is no risk to your own health, may we all suggest you volunteer your services in your nearest Covid-19 ICU were they would be more than welcomed by those hwo actually DO care about others.