Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a national address, announced harsher new measures that will be imposed on much of Greece to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, which has experienced a spike in the country.
While cases have increased dramatically in the nation, so have hospitalizations.
70% of the total intensive care beds in the Attica region have been taken by COVID-19 infected patients. In the rest of Greece, 45% of all ICU beds are occupied by coronavirus patients.
The new measures, targeting the population centers of Athens and Thessaloniki, and other surrounding regions, will take effect on Tuesday, November 3 at 6:00am and will last an entire month.
The nation has been divided into two zones, according to Mitsotakis’ video address.
Regions that were previously in the red and orange zones are now considered high-risk regions and join in one zone, with increased measures. While regions previously in the green and yellow regions remain in the lower-risk zone where the increased measures do not apply.
In the red, or high-risk zones, which includes Athens, Thessaloniki and much of their broader regions, retail businesses and services will remain open and functioning, with the exception of restaurants, bars, night clubs, coffee shops, cinemas, theaters, museums and indoor gyms— which must all close for one month.
The government’s official map of zones is here.
Restaurants can continue food delivery and take-away service.
Mitsotakis clarified that unlike Greece’s first lockdown in March, which lasted almost three months, citizens are free to move about their regular business in the hours beyond the curfew (12:30am-5:00am) and without having to request an outing permit via SMS messaging.
Traveling from one region of Greece to another is also still permitted, he added.
“We are not talking about a total ‘freezing’ of daily life,” he explained, “as a universal lockdown would be the last step and would hurt the economy and society,” he stressed.
Like other countries in Europe, Greece is in the grip of a resurgence of the virus. Daily infections surged over 1,000 this week, peaking at 1,690 Friday.
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