Easter travel plans fall by the wayside

Spike in Attica’s viral load, other factors conspire against easing restrictions during holidays

Easter travel plans fall by the wayside

The spike in the viral load in Attica, after a period of stabilization with declining trends, has dashed the few expectations that many had been clinging on to for a possible decision to liberalize travel for Easter. 

Nonetheless, the government is working on a roadmap for the gradual opening after Easter, which is scheduled to be announced – possibly by the end of the week – by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Before that Greece will seek to reduce the pandemic’s impact as last week Attica’s already high viral load surged by a staggering 171%, which is expected to translate into an increase in cases in the coming days. This surge was noted during the week of April 12-18 compared to April 5-11. 

Similar spikes were also observed on the island of Crete, with the town of Rethymno registering a 120% increase while the figure in Agios Nikolaos was up by a shocking 360%.

Health experts also point the finger of blame at the scenes of overcrowding observed in recent weeks, including illegal parties organized in central squares of Athens that have further compounded the dire epidemiological situation.

At the same time, snags in the tenders for the supply of self-testing kits have also slowed down deliveries and availability. 

As a result, few people will be allowed to travel between regions during Easter Week.

These few include workers who need to travel outside their region of residence provided that they have a certificate from their employer. Self-employed professionals will also have to present relevant documentation. 

Travel will also be allowed for health reasons, with the presentation of appropriate medical documents. Free movement is also allowed for funeral attendance, again with the relevant documents (death certificate, document from a funeral home, publication in a newspaper etc).

Divorced or separated parents whose children live in another prefecture can travel too – with the presentation of appropriate documents.

Meanwhile health authorities announced 3,789 new cases of Covid-19 and 87 fatalities Tuesday. Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 320,629, with 9,627 dead. A total of 847 patients remain intubated in intensive care units while 1,963 have left ICUs.

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