Retail sector reopens for first time since November

Retail sector reopens for first time since November

Retail stores, hair salons and car inspection stations (KTEO) reopened to the public on Monday for the first time since the start of the second lockdown in early November, but measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic remain in place.

According to officials, a total of 140,000 employees will return to work. Store owners welcomed the move, noting that a return to regular operation along winter sales will provide a much-needed respite for the market and prevent further job losses.

Appointments will only be required for hair salons, barbers, beauty parlors and diet centers, in all of which owners must be prepared to show the listing of appointments to authorities if required.

Retailers, hairdressers and beauty salons may allow up to 4 customers per 100 square meters. Stores over 100 sqm are allowed 1 customer per 25 sqm (a change from the previous 1 person/15 sqm). The latter also applies also to malls and discount villages.

At KTEO, customers must set appointments up for their car to get serviced.

However, areas with high viral loads will not be included in the reopening and customers will still need to use the click-and-collect system which allows for online orders to be picked up at the store in person by appointment.

The reopening was announced on January 15 by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and later detailed by Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who outlined restrictions on the number of people allowed in a store.

To go to the shops, customers will have to send an SMS with option  2 to the number 13033, but the message is valid for two hours only.

The proposed working hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Stores may also open on Sunday, January 24, at the owner's discretion.

Travel between prefectures is still prohibited, as is circulation outside the house during curfew (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.), unless medically necessary.

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