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August 10, 2022
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Greece Under Partial Covid Lockdown Starting Tuesday

Greek authorities will impose a partial lockdown aimed at curbing a spike in coronavirus infections starting from Tuesday.

Bars and restaurants in high-risk areas will be closed and the use of face masks and a nighttime curfew will be made mandatory nationwide.

The restrictions, which are to apply for a month from 6 a.m. Tuesday, aim to avert the need for a full nationwide lockdown.

The government’s one-month plan, announced by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday, effectively divides the country into two zones from the current four – putting regions in risk level three and four into one zone and grouping levels one and two where infections are still low.

The high-risk zone now include all the regions (27) which until now stood in the ‘red’ and ‘orange’ alert level.

“Unfortunately,” Mitsotakis said, “the coronavirus knows how to go through the cracks of the negligence of a few, which undermines the effort of many. And good weather ceases to be our ally, as we will soon spend more and more time indoors.”

“That is why we must act now. Now. Before the Intensive Care Units buckle under the weight of endangered lives. Now. Where we have the ability to detect and track cases,” he continued.

In the higher-risk zone, which includes Attica and Thessaloniki, bars and restaurants will close – though delivery and takeaway services will be permitted – along with cinemas, gyms, theaters and museums. Schools, banks and retail stores will remain open.

A curfew, from midnight to 5 a.m., will apply nationwide, as will the mandatory use of face masks in all public areas. Travel between regions will be permitted, unlike in the first lockdown in the spring.

A key driver the decision to impose the new measures was the increasing pressure on intensive care units at the country’s hospitals, in northern Greece, in particular.

In Thessaloniki, for instance, occupancy at ICUs rose from 10 to 60 percent within a week and there were fears that Covid patients from northern Greece would have to be sent to Athens hospitals where occupancy is at around 50 to 60 percent.

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