NEWS

Activities open as Covid-19 recedes

Curfew hours cut further, measure will be halted in July if progress on pandemic continues

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A continuing drop in viral loads brings shorter curfew hours and the opening up of more activities, a government official announced on Wednesday.

Nikos Hardalias, deputy minister in charge of civil protection, said that a committee of experts advising the Health Ministry approved a further reduction of curfew hours to just three-and-a-half per night, from 1.30 a.m. to 5 a.m. from Saturday.

If the coronavirus pandemic recedes further, the curfew will be lifted entirely at the beginning of July, Hardalias added.

Also on Saturday, several activities will be resumed or extended. Music will be allowed in cafes, bars and restaurants, but only in open spaces and all persons in those spaces must be seated. In case crowds congregate, the business will be fined 5,000 euros for a first violation, and, if it violates regulations again, will be shut down for 15 days.

Cafes, bars and restaurants in arcades will be allowed to open on Saturday, provided they have two exits, to facilitate air circulation. 

Theaters, cinemas and other entertainment spaces will be allowed to seat more people: From 50% now, allowed capacity in spaces with up to 1,000 seats will increase to 75%, in venues with up to 5,000 seats it will come to 70%, in venues with up to 15,000 seats to 65%, and, in larger venues, attendance will be capped at 10,000.

On Monday, June 14, university labs and medical school clinics will reopen, as well as adult education activities at universities.

From July 1, maximum attendance at catered receptions will increase to 300 from 100 currently. Country fairs will be allowed to resume only in regional units where at least 50% of the population has been vaccinated.

These further steps to normality have been made possible also due to the pace of vaccinations. On Wednesday, 420,300 openings were made available for vaccinations with the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.

Also, vaccination of people confined at home will start at the end of June, using the Johnson & Johnson, which requires only one shot, and with the help of private doctors, Kikilias said.

Health authorities announced 890 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, along with 15 deaths. The positivity rate for Covid-19 tests was 2.49% and there were 381 patients on ventilators.