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Shops Reopen as Greece Promises More Support for Businesses

Shops Greece
Shoppers descend on Ermou Street in Athens on Monday. Credit: Greek Reporter

Retail shops in most parts of Greece reopened their doors to customers on Monday, as the government announced support measures for businesses that remain closed due the pandemic.

Last week Greece, announced the easing of some restrictions to relieve widespread lockdown fatigue, allowing small retail shops to reopen using the so-called click away (curbside) or click inside method.

Excluded from the reopening were shops in the regions of Thessaloniki, Achaia and Kozani.

According to the joint ministerial decision, visits to the retail shops can only take place by appointment and after sending an SMS to the phone number 13032, while there is a three-hour window for completing one’s purchases.

Greece shops
Shoppers wait patiently outside a retail store in Athens. Credit: Greek Reporter

Only one “non-essential” shopping trip per day is permitted.

The measure excludes shopping malls and department stores in the Athens area, which will remain closed.

On Sunday, Greece reported 1,955 new Covid-19 infections and 78 related deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 275,414 and Covid-related deaths to 8,380.

More support for businesses in Greece

The businesses in Greece that continue to be subject to restrictive measures in April will get an increased “special-purpose” compensation ranging between 1,000 and 4,000 euros, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced on Monday.

According to the Minister, the additional cost is expected to reach 130 million euros and payment will be made in May, once disbursement of round 7 of the repayable advance has been completed.

The measure will benefit roughly 100,000 businesses and self-employed workers throughout Greece, of which 10,800 are retailers operating in Thessaloniki, Achaia and Kozani, for whom restrictive measures have been extended.

The others are in sectors such as tourism, sports and fitness, culture, transport and others whose activities have been suspended by the state.

Businesses qualifying for the higher special purpose compensation are those employing up to 50 employees whose activities or the greater part of whose profits are derived from activities that were suspended in April.

The sum of 1,000 euros will be given to those with 0-5 employees, 2,000 euros for those with 6-20 employees, and 4,000 for those with 21-50 employees.

For businesses in Greece whose activities are suspended for less than 15 days, the compensation will be halved relative to the above-mentioned amounts.

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