With coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and intubations continuing to rise despite restrictions, the government on Friday announced the closure of all schools nationwide and put three more regional units in the red, the top tier of the restriction categories.
Speaking at the government’s daily televised bulletin on the course of the pandemic, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias announced tougher restrictions on public movement and a stricter curfew for the regions of Halkidiki in northern Greece, Evrytania in central Greece and the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos. The municipal units of Ioanniton, Metsovo, Katerini, Hania and Skiathos are also going into hard lockdown as of Saturday morning, he said.
The hard lockdown, meanwhile, will continue for at least another 10 days in Attica, Aetoloakarnania, Viotia, Evia, Fthiotida, Fokida, Argolida, Arkadia, Korinthia, Thessaloniki, Arta, Thesprotia, Iraklio, Samos, Lefkada, Kalymnos, Rhodes, Chios and Anogeia, while there will be no changes to restrictions for the Clean Monday holiday, Hardalias said.
Moreover, what schools were in operation will not reopen after the holiday on Tuesday, as all classes will be conducted remotely across the country until further notice.
Speaking at the same news conference, Vana Papaevangelou, an expert in infectious diseases among children and a member of the government’s advisory committee, said that the rate of positive tests in Greece right now is above 4% and new cases are coming in at an average of 2,100 a day.
“The epidemiological load continues to grow despite the strict measures,” she warned, saying that health authorities estimate there to be around 20,000 active Covid cases in Greece right now, with half of those being in the Greek capital.