The government on Friday announced limited reopening measures for the Christmas holidays amid pressure from the country’s high epidemiological burden.
Retailers will operate in the form of online ordering and collections from the store, without customers entering the stores (known as curbside pick-up or click-and-collect service) from December 13 – January 7.
Hairdressers will reopen for business on Monday, December 14, from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Bookstores will also open on the same day, with restrictions on the number of customers allowed in at any one time.
Churches will only open on Christmas and Epiphany Day with all the necessary protection measures. Only nine people will be allowed into church at one time, and 25 at cathedrals. There will be no blessing of the waters ceremonies on Epiphany Day.
Travelers who fly into Greece from December 18 – January 7 will have to enter a mandatory 3-day quarantine on arrival (down from 10), as well as submit to a rapid antigen test at the airport and produce a negative PCR test.
From December 13 – January 7, a nationwide curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Movement outside will only be allowed with government permission – which can be granted by SMS text message (#2 for a visit to a retail store).
The announcements came as health authorities bemoaned that the number of intubated patients in intensive care units is decreasing at a frustratingly slow pace.
More specifically, there were 571 intubated patients, compared to 578 the day before Thursday and 596 on December 1.
There were 207 patients in ICUs when the second lockdown began last month. The highest daily number (622) was reached on December 3.