NEWS

Expansion of self-test supply points being mulled

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Seeking to expand its options for the next phase of self-testing, the government hinted on Friday that it is not ruling out the distribution of kits not only by supermarkets, as it has previously announced, but by gas stations, pet shops, bakeries and even laundries too.

Currently the tests are only being handed out in pharmacies, but the Association of Greek Pharmacists (PFS) announced on June 8 that they would stop giving them out free of charge at the end of the month, as a reaction to indications that the government is considering expanding their supply points.

“The government has a lot of options, especially in a pandemic, and is ready, if necessary, to use other distribution channels to serve the citizens,” a government official said on Friday, after a joint ministerial decision regarding the opening hours of retail stores that sell food.

According to this decision, retail stores such as supermarkets and bakeries, will be able to operate from 7 a.m. to 10.30 p.m as of Monday, June 14. Up until now opening hours were until 9 p.m.

The new timetable will apply until June 21, while the number of customers allowed inside remains unchanged.

This means that the rule which foresees no more than one person per 25 square meters will be maintained.

However, in a significant departure compared to previous decisions, the number of people that go to a store to procure a self-diagnostic test will not be counted, which essentially means that more than one person will be allowed inside an area of 25 square meters at the same time, regardless of whether a commercial transaction takes place.