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Greece Prohibits Outdoor Work and Delivery Services During Peak Heatwave Hours

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Delivery services and outdoor work have been banned in Greece at certain hours due to the heatwave. Credit: Jean Housen / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, Greece banned outdoor work and delivery services during the hottest hours of the day due to the ongoing heatwave.

The restriction is in effect for the private sector between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. and is applicable in regions where temperatures surpass 40 degrees Celsius.

Other workers, particularly at busy tourist destinations, have already had their hours slashed due to the scorching temperatures affecting Greece and other parts of Southern Europe. Some scientists are saying that heatwaves like this are becoming more common due to to climate change.

Delivery services and outdoor work are limited in Greece due to the heatwave

The prohibitions on outdoor work during certain hours have been put into effect in the following regions: Attica, Thessaly, east Sterea and Peloponnese, Thrace, Central and East Macedonia, Crete, the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea as well as the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and the Sporades islands.

Adonis Georgiadis, of the Greek Ministry of Labor, clarified on Twitter that “the peak of the Heatwave is predicted with particularly high temperatures. For the protection of workers in prefectures where the phenomenon will be intense, from 12:00-17:00 WE PROHIBIT any kind of outside work and especially delivery services.”

“During these hours, the relevant online platforms are PROHIBITED from accepting orders for delivery. Controls will be constant and the fines very high. We consider the Health and Safety of employees to be our absolute priority. If the measures are followed everything will be fine and another difficult day will pass,” he added.

Implementation of the ban

Labor inspectors on Sunday observed food delivery operations taking place during the restricted hours, particularly in regions heavily impacted by high temperatures. It was found that delivery platforms were accepting orders, which directly contradicted the existing ban.

The implementation of this measure, announced on Wednesday morning, comes in response to the unfortunate incidents of a delivery person’s death on Friday and a municipal worker’s death on Sunday. These incidents have raised concerns and prompted authorities to take action to address the situation.

It is hoped that the threat of fines will discourage companies from sending out their employees to work in extreme temperatures. According to the director of the EMY, Antonis Lalos, the current heatwave is worse than the heatwave of 1987 when over 1,300 people died, so the health risks are very real indeed.

Strikes and reduced working hours

Those providing delivery services are not the only workers impacted by the heatwave in Greece. Last week, the union representing workers at the Acropolis announced that they would go on strike amid the soaring temperatures.

The Acropolis staff said that they objected to being compelled to work under extreme conditions with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius.

Prior to the announced strike, the iconic hill in Athens, known for housing the Parthenon temple and attracting millions of holidaymakers annually, had to close its doors for three days due to the scorching heat. However, the site was reopened last Monday after the brief closure.

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