The great Greek re-opening is under way as the country took its first steps to ease lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 back in mid-March.
Greece took quick action, restricting the movement of its citizens and shuttering all non-essential businesses a day after the country’s first case was reported on February 26.
As of today, the country’s “menoume spiti” (we stay home) campaign officially converts to “menoume asfaleis” (we stay safe) with small shops reopening and the mandatory wearing of masks on all public transport.
Greek Orthodox Churches were also permitted to open for individual prayer, with services scheduled to resume next week. Churches will enforce strict social distancing measures that limit the number of attendees at any given time.
Greece fared well against the coronavirus, which has ravaged nations throughout the world. The country has reported 2,626 cases and fewer than 150 deaths at the time of this article’s publication.
Schools, restaurants, larger retail shops and bars will reopen on May 11 during a second phase. Hotels will start to open on June 1.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday said Greeks had shown “discipline and a very high sense of responsibility and solidarity” but now had to be “doubly careful.”
“As we now move on to the next phase… individual responsibility becomes even more important,” the PM said as he met President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
All eyes are now on whether or not any part of the tourist season can be salvaged, with swift moves by officials to implement new policies that will protect tourists and locals alike from the virus.
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