A continuing spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus infections reported in Greece on Friday, 72, along with three related fatalities, generated a renewed round of stricter restrictions for public assemblies and health facilities.
Nearly have of the positive cases were recorded in the greater Athens and Thessaloniki areas, as Greece as of Saturday will enter the climax of the annual, but now coronavirus-devastated tourism season.
The number of total infections reached 4,477, still significantly lower than other European countries, while also on a positive note, the number of Covid-19 infected patients on life support in hospital ICUs is only nine.
In reaction to the “mini surge”, Greek civil protection authorities announced that the wearing of wearing masks is now mandatory in all indoor public spaces throughout August.
Restaurants and eateries are excluded from the measure, along with people suffering from respiratory problems and toddlers.
Conversely, strict restrictions were re-imposed on elderly care and assisted living centers, “hotspots” for asylum seekers and irregular migrants, as well as hospitals, the latter until Aug. 15.
One measure that is expected to “dampen” the holiday mood in what’s traditionally the biggest vacation month, August, is the prohibition on standing patrons at bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, with only seated customers allowed.
Recommended social distance must be observed at beaches and vessels of all types, while all open-air events, including religious festivals, are banned until Aug. 31.
In addition, a ban on air and land travel with Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia is extended to Aug. 15.
Visitors who enter Greece via the Promachonas border post will have to present documentation showing a negative test three days prior to entry, a regime that will also apply for airline from Bulgaria, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.