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Greece Reopens Schools and Courts Post-Lockdown

Greece reopens schools
People wearing protective face masks as mandated by the government while shopping in Athens. Credit: Greek Reporter.

On Monday, Greece reopened schools and courtrooms for in-person attendance following months of closures due to the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Primary and middle schools welcomed back students following the opening of high schools on April 12th. Courts also reopened for many of their activities, with reasonable restrictions in order to safeguard people from the spread of the coronavirus.

Schools in Greece reopened with high virus numbers

All school grades are now open, and all must follow the regulations set out by the government to keep staff and students safe. These include mandatory temperature checks as students enter school buildings, as well as increased sanitation throughout schools.

The school grades that started in-person operation on Monday also have to take part in Greece’s self-testing program, which has already been in place in high schools.

Self-testing kits can be obtained by those who are eligible for them at any pharmacy for free. The test is given upon presentation of a valid AMKA social security number of either the child or the parent of the child.

Together with the self test kit, recipients are given written instructions on how to correctly collect their sample. Test results must be declared up to 24 hours before attending classes. To do so, students and teachers need to upload their test results to an online platform.

The registration of self tests per AMKA is done in real time to avoid the phenomenon of multiple tests being handed out by different pharmacies to the same person.

Self tests are rapidly detectable nasal-swab tests (using a nasal instead of nasopharyngeal / oral pharyngeal sample), performed at home; they do not require the supervision of a health professional.

Self-testing is expected to be performed twice weekly by all students and staff in order to keep them safe from the coronavirus.

SKAI TV, one of the largest channels in Greece, reported that nearly 3,000 pupils and teachers tested positive for the virus prior to schools opening on Monday.

Courts open for specific functions

Courts in Greece face a range of limitations as they restart in-person operations once again.

Civil courts have opened for all cases, whereas criminal courts have limited the cases they can hear to those in which the defendant is already in custody or cases which are in danger of reaching the statute of limitations.

Restrictions have also been placed on the number of people allowed in any single courtroom; however this regulation has been difficult to follow in cases involving multiple defendants.

Greece’s reopening of schools and courtrooms is part of a larger plan as Greece reopens for tourism on the 15th. Restaurants and bars have been open in the country since May 3, and there is a plan for the staggered reopening of cultural venues such as museums, theaters and cinemas.

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