Restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen in Greece on Monday as the government took yet another step toward easing COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the country’s international reopening on May 14.
The restaurants and bars had been under government-imposed lockdown since November 2020 when officials reinstated the measures to curb the second wave of the pandemic.
Greece’s government started easing restrictions in mid-April — including re-opening borders to American travelers — in hopes of preventing another devastating summer for tourism, which makes up one fifth of the national GDP.
The move was described as a “gamble” in a New York Times article published on Tuesday which outlines the circumstances surrounding Greece’s reopening.
Greece endured the first wave of the pandemic better than most European countries in spring 2020. But a surge of infections in the fall put the national health system under pressure and prompted the second lockdown ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
As of Tuesday, Greece has recorded 349,936 cases and 10,668 deaths related to the coronavirus, according to health authorities.
Approximately three million of the country’s 11 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Borders have been opened to visitors from several countries, including the United States, provided they are vaccinated or can show negative test results within the past 72 hours prior to arrival
Featured image: A waiter serves a group of people in a restaurant of Plaka district, as restaurants and cafes in Greece open after six months of lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Athens, Greece, May 3, 2021. Photo by Louiza Vradi/REUTERS
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