NEWS

Masks required in more venues as of Wednesday

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As the number of coronavirus cases continues to go up in Greece, and particularly in Attica, the government has decided that the use of masks will be mandatory as of Wednesday for everyone – employees and the public – in retail stores, food stores (bakeries, butchers, etc.), hairdressers and beauty salons, state-run companies, banks and public service offices.

Masks are already mandatory on public transport, in taxis and supermarkets, and for employees in bars, cafes and restaurants. The extended use of masks will be accompanied by an intensification of controls.

The new measures were announced on Tuesday by Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias, who strongly recommended the use of masks even in crowded open spaces.

Regarding the possible extension of the ban on village festivals, or “panigyria,” beyond July 31, Hardalias noted that this will be determined at the end of the week, depending on the epidemiological data. He clarified that “at this very moment, we are far from any local lockdown.”

He also insisted that despite the increase in cases, “the epidemiological picture of Greece is better than other European countries,” adding that the rate of transmission, or Rt, is 0.4 when the ceiling for the control of the epidemic is 1. He warned, however, that “this should not lead to complacency.”

Health authorities on Tuesday confirmed 52 new cases, raising the total number in Greece to 4,279.

Of the new cases, 11 were imported, 14 were located in Attica, nine in Thessaloniki, four each in Kavala, Achaia and Lesvos, two in Magnisia and Imathia, and one in Halkidiki and Evia. One more death was reported yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 203.