The Greek government announced on Friday a set of measures for the reopening of some businesses in the retail sector for Christmas sales. It also noted that churches may also reopen — but only for Christmas and Epiphany Day.
The mandatory quarantine for travelers arriving in Greece was also lowered to three days.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that the spread of coronavirus in Greece and the pressures on ICUs in hospitals does not allow for the full resumption of normal activities at present.
“The cases are not declining and the decongestion of ICUs is not happening to the extent that was expected. The responsibility for this lies with all of us. We cannot, therefore, resume economic and social activities in the way and at the time we would all like,” he said.
“Despite the fact that five weeks have passed since the implementation of the second lockdown, the epidemiological situation in the country remains serious,” he added.
The new measures include:
- Retailers will be allowed to operate in the form of online ordering and collections from the store, without customers entering stores, from December 13 – January 7.
- Hairdressers will reopen for business on Monday, December 14, from 7 AM – 9 PM. It is noted that not only will their operation be exclusively by appointment, but strict adherence to health protocols must also be observed.
- Bookstores will also open on the same day, with restrictions on the number of customers allowed in at any one time.
- Churches will only open on Christmas and Epiphany Day with all the necessary protection measures. During these two days, only nine people will be allowed in ordinary churches and up to twenty-five people in cathedrals. The responsibility for the observance of the measures rests with the Church authorities.
- Travelers who fly into Greece from December 18 – January 7 will have to enter a mandatory 3-day quarantine on arrival (lowered from 10 days), as well as submit to a rapid antigen test at the airport and produce a negative PCR test.
- The travel ban during the hours from 10 PM to 5 AM will be maintained throughout the period from Sunday, December 13, 2020 to January 7, 2021, as well as sending an SMS to 13033 for the necessary travel. It is clarified that for movements related to retail, hairdressers and bookstores, the number 2 should be declared as part of the SMS.