Retail stores, hair salons and car inspection centers (KTEO) reopened for business Monday for the first time since the start of the second lockdown in early November, but measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus remain in place, with fears that a third wave of the pandemic could again lead to closures, to devastating effect.
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 with the winter sales will provide much-needed respite for the market and prevent further job losses.
More specifically, retail stores expect that turnover during the discount period (which will last until February 27) will be to the tune of 2.5 billion euros – i.e. 50% of the turnover they make under normal conditions.
For the vast majority of traders, the most important goal at this stage is to be able to sell their merchandise and not to run out of stock. Clothing and footwear stores, and mainly chains, attract the most consumers during the winter sales.
Apart from calling for all parties to comply with the safety measures inside and outside stores, authorities are also considering additional solutions. These include applications that will help consumers comply with the 2-hour limit provided for shopping. Other measures under consideration are those facilitating purchases by appointment, to limit queues outside stores.
Meanwhile Monday, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said that the government is considering allowing people to travel between regional units, but only so they can visit ski resorts.
On the other hand, he said that the reopening of restaurants is still far off as they are considered hotbeds for the spread of the virus. In any case, he said the reopening would initially start with outdoor areas.