Greece will allow music in restaurants and bars again and extend their operating hours as the government eases restrictions imposed in December amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and increased strain on hospitals.
For the past month, bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Greece were mandated to close at midnight with standing patrons and music prohibited. The government imposed the restrictions after a holiday surge of cases due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
“We have decided to scale back the restrictions, taking into consideration the course of the pandemic in terms of cases which have been declining in recent weeks,” Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in a televised statement last Thursday.
Plevris said that Omicron’s less-severe symptoms and shorter duration of hospital stays compared to the Delta variant allowed the government to lift restrictions.
Sporting events will still be subject to capacity limits and double masking is mandatory in supermarkets and on public transportation.
Greece reported 11,124 cases and 97 deaths on Sunday. Case numbers have steadily decreased since reaching a record high of approximately 50,000 in early January.
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