Greece slowly emerging from lockdown

Greece slowly emerging from lockdown

Starting on Friday, the SMS system for leaving home will end, the night curfew will begin at 12.30 a.m. instead of 11 p.m., while domestic travel restrictions will be lifted as part of Greece’s phased returned to normality after months of restrictions. 

“We are leaving the lockdowns behind us,” stressed the deputy minister to the prime minister, Akis Skertsos.

Also on Friday, the click-and-collect and click-in-shop systems will cease as retail trade gets closer to normal with health protocols in place stipulating one customer per 25 square meters.

What’s more, as of Friday, the Greek version of the “green certificate” regarding travel to the islands (with the exception of Lefkada and Evia) comes into force, either by boat or by air. 

Those wishing to travel must have either a vaccination certificate (14 days after the second dose), a negative result from a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours prior, a negative result from a rapid test or self-test conducted up to 24 hours before, or documentary proof of illness. All domestic and foreign travelers over 5 years old will be obliged to comply with these conditions.

Restaurants will remain without music throughout May. Kindergartens will open on May 17, summer cinemas on May 21, and outdoor cultural spaces on May 28. As of June, weddings and baptisms will take place outdoors with a maximum of 100 people.

Skertsos stressed that there has been a continuous de-escalation in cases over the last six weeks, noting that the recent lifting of restrictions had not increased the infection rate.

“Despite the increased mobility, we have achieved our goal,” he said. Elaborating further, he said last year there were no vaccines, “while this year we have them.” What’s more, he noted that Greece struggled to conduct a maximum of 800 tests a day at the beginning of the pandemic, while now “we are exceeding 80,000 a day and at the same time performing millions of self-tests on a weekly basis.”

“Last year the population’s immunity was almost zero, while this year it is growing exponentially,” he added, while also stressing that the National Health System has been boosted significantly this year compared to 2020.

“Thanks to all these factors, we can safely say that we are leaving the lockdowns behind us and we can open safely,” he said.

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