Restaurants have been allowed to begin serving customers again as long as they follow a long list of regulations by the Greek government in order to stave off an uptick in coronavirus cases.
Greece reopens cautiously
Bars and restaurants are now allowed to reopen in Greece with limited hours, and with the stipulation that all diners are seated outdoors. All establishments are required to close at 10:45 PM in order to allow patrons to respect the 11:00 PM curfew.
However, restaurant owners are hoping that this is only a temporary measure, as many establishments usually stay open past 2:00 AM.
Speaking with the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, the Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, stated that the government’s goal is to eventually allow longer hours of operation. Following the country’s reopening to tourists on May 15th, Georgiadis stated that restaurants and bars will likely be allowed to operate for longer hours.
According to the strict coronavirus measures now in effect, all restaurants and cafes will be open for outdoor seating only, with socially-distanced tables — and no music.
Music has been banned in establishments in order to stop people from raising their voices to be heard over it. According to Georgiadis, doctors who were consulted on Greece’s reopening insisted on this measure, because more droplets of moisture containing the coronavirus are likely to travel through the air when people speak louder.
The restrictions state that each table can seat a maximum of six people, and customers must sit, not stand. Restaurants are encouraged to make sure that patrons do not move tables and chairs in an attempt to enforce social distancing.
While waiting to be seated, customers must also wear masks. They are also strongly recommended to wear their masks while not eating or drinking, but this is not mandatory.
Additionally, all staff will have to undergo self testing for the coronavirus twice a week and they must wear masks while working.
Due to the weekend’s great significance with a plethora of Easter celebrations nationwide, the Hellenic National Public Health Organisation announced two days’ worth of cases on Monday.
Greece recorded 2,146 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday and Sunday, which is slightly lower than the 2,155 cases recorded on Friday.
Additionally, the country recorded that there were 797 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators over the weekend, which is fourteen fewer than the 811 patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country on Saturday alone.
Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 36 are associated with foreign travel and 1,253 have been linked to contact with a known case.
A total of 363 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece over the weekend.
Of the 2,146 new coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 48 hours, 1,022 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens. Additionally, 302 new infections were detected in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city.
The number of deaths in Greece from COVID 19 rose to 134 over the two days of the weekend, which is more or less in line with the 66 recorded on Friday. This brought the total death toll to 10,587. Among those who were tragically lost, 95.4% had a pre-existing condition or were over the age of 70.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 348,568 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.