Government reverses decision to open stores as infections spike in Attica

Government reverses decision to open stores as infections spike in Attica

A sudden rise in coronavirus infections in Attica this past week prompted the government to impose stricter measures across the board in the largest region of the country as of Saturday, focused mainly on the market and on delaying the return of grades 10-12 to classrooms.

In a live briefing on Friday, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced stricter restrictions for Attica retail stores, which will return to online orders and in-person pickups ("click away"), less than two weeks after reopening.

Clothes and shoe stores and bookshops in Attica will operate by the "click-in-store" method as of January 30, which allows a limited number of customers in store after prearranged appointments. Hairdressers and beauty salons will operate by appointment only. Unlike previous times, stores will not be open on Sunday, January 31.

Hardalias also announced a simplified two-tier system of epidemiological alert nationally that shares the basic obligatory health rules, such as wearing masks and sending SMS (text messages) to authorities before leaving home, and keeping curfew. 

Level A (yellow alert) areas are those being monitored for changes in infection rates, and Level B (red) are areas under high-alert due to increased numbers on infections.  

Besides the restrictions in retail as of Saturday in Attica, placed under the red level, only grades 7-9 will return to school as planned on Monday, February 1, while upper classes (10-12) will remain on remote operation in Attica Region.

In other areas, classes will resume for these upper grades as well. Kindergartens and primary schools have been open since January 11.  
Religious services are allowed, but only up to 9 people may attend them in red areas and up to 25 in yellow areas.

In terms of overnight curfews, in yellow-tier areas it is 9 p.m.-5 a.m. In red areas it starts at 6 p.m., but Attica was exempted, as the restriction would create havoc in traffic and transportation.

Besides Attica, other red-tiered regions announced by Hardalias include: Lesvos region, Eordea municipality in Kozani region, the municipalities of Thiveon and Tanagra at Boeotia region, Sparta municipality at Lakonia region, Halkideon municipality and the Roma settlement in the Distion municipal area of Kimi-Aliverti municipality of Evia region, Nea Propontida municipality at Halkidiki region, Patras municipality of Achaia region, and Thira and Mykonos regions. 


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