Greece accelerates Covid-restrictions implementation, announcement Wed afternoon
Under the pressure of unprecedented coronavirus infection cases Greece has decided to implement the restrictions aiming to contain the spread of Covid-19 earlier than January 3. The restrictions that will affect also the operation of restaurants on New Year’s Eve are scheduled to be announced by Health Minister Thanos Plevris on Wednesday afternoon.
The restriction measures are to take immediate effect from 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 30, media report. However, new measures will be added to the ones decided on
According to several scenarios in the media, music will be banned and restaurants, cafes and bars will close early with the exception on New Year’s Eve.
Earlier restrictions for restaurants will destroy sector, union says
If the new restrictions in the opening hours of restaurants and cafes take effect earlier that the New Year they will destroy the sector, the association of restaurant owners POESE said in a letter to the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Development Minister on Wednesday.
“New restrictions on the food service sector without support measures are tantamount to destroying the industry,” the POESE said among others. the union stressed that businesses have bought supplies and have numerous reservations from customers who want to ring in the New Year in restaurants and bars, but limiting opening hours to midnight “will be disastrous.”
The over 21,000 infection cases on Tuesday set the Greek government and the country’s health experts on alert, even though government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said late on Tuesday “we knew that there would be in increase of infections.”
PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis had an emergency meeting with Greece’s top epidemiologist, Sotiris Tsiodras, Wednesday noon, the Epidemiologists Committee convened to an extraordinary meeting to evaluate the epidemiological situation and advice the government on the restrictions to be taken.
According to latest media reports for third consecutive day, coronavirus cases in Greece broke a new record on Wednesday and reached 28, 828 confirmed infections. In Attica alone infections reached 12,848 cases in the past 24 hours.
Health authorities announced also 79 Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours, while the number of intubated Covid-patients in hospitals has decreased to 620.
The Greek government accelerated the implementation of the new restrictions to December 30 as the spike in the last two days – over 50,000 confirmed infections in just 48 hours – could not wait until January 3. The new restrictions will heavily affect the New Year’s celebrations.