Greece is unlikely to be in a position to lift a ban on non-essential travel between different regions of the country and other restrictions imposed as part of the lockdown that was originally foreseen running until December 1, the government spokesman said on Tuesday morning.
Speaking on Antenna television, Stelios Petsas said that lifting restrictions on domestic travel before coronavirus number drop significantly, in the runup to the holiday season, risks putting an unnecessary burden on parts of the country that have been seeing lower transmission rates.
Petsas said that when restrictions are lifted, this will be a gradual process that will start with the reopening of schools and random testing among staff and students. Retail commerce will likely follow, though strict rules will have to apply in terms of staff and customer numbers.
The government is also hoping to allow restaurants and perhaps cafes to reopen for the holidays, Petsas said, though he added that this is highly unlikely that bars will be included in that round of easing.
The week ahead is seen as crucial by experts for ascertaining whether the nationwide lockdown imposed earlier this month is starting to yield results by flattening the transmission curve and easing pressure on the public health system, paving the way for a gradual lifting of restrictions.