Greece will ease the lockdown starting on Monday as it reopens retail stores to the public. On Sunday, health authorities confirmed 28 deaths due to Covid-19, bringing the standing total in Greece to 5,469.
Retail stores in areas still experiencing a heavy infection rate, will operate on the click-away system, which allows online orders to be picked up at the store in person by appointment.
According to officials, a total of 140,000 employees will return to work, while customers will still be obliged to use the SMS (text messaging) system at phone line 13033, selecting option 2.
Store owners welcomed the reopening, saying that return to operation without an appointment system and in combination with winter sales will provide another breather for the market and prevent a Spring 2021 shutdown of stores and job loss.
The reopening was announced on Friday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Appointments will only be required for hair salons, barbers, beauty parlors and diet centers, in all of which owners must be prepared to show the listing of appointments to authorities if required.
Coffee shops and restaurants will remain closed but may still provide pick-up or delivery services.
237 Covid infections on Sunday
On Sunday health authorities also announced 237 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours of which 13 were identified at entry points to the country.
All confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic’s first case in Greece total 148,607. Of these, 5,739 are linked to travel abroad and 45,466 to already known cases.
Nationally, 320 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 69. A majority of 87.5 percent have an underlying condition or are aged 70 or more.
Another 1,030 patients have been discharged from ICUs since the start of the pandemic.