Greece Opens Up Ending Pandemic Lockdown



Greece will lift its mandatory stay at home lockdown for all citizens on Monday as it makes a transition from the “stay home” containment policy to the “stay safe” campaign.

Authorities warn, however, that the danger of a rebound of the pandemic is not over. The “stay safe” phase is much more complicated, harder to grasp, and even harder to impose.

As of Monday, Greeks are free to travel within the prefecture of their residence without informing the government of their movements by holding handwritten permits or sending an SMS — as was the case until now.

Small retail stores, including hairdressers, beauty salons, bookstores will open. Churches will also open, but only for individual prayer for now.

Personal exercise will be allowed in open areas and beaches, except for organized beaches, which will remain closed.

Greeks will enter this second phase of Covid-19 response wearing face masks. A stiff fine of 150 euros is envisaged for Greeks who flout the new rule.

As of Monday, the use of masks is mandatory or strongly recommended in enclosed spaces such as hospitals, supermarkets, and grocery stores, retail and other shops, public transport, and taxis. This is especially true in areas where there is close physical contact, like in hairdressers, barbershops and beauty parlors, and driving license schools.

Head of Civil protection Nikos Hardalias announced on Saturday evening that the use of a mask is mandatory by citizens in:

  • Public Transport and Taxis
  • Elevators
  • Hospitals, diagnostic centers & laboratories, doctors’ practices
  • Supermarket employees who deal with no packed food products
  • Retail shop employees

“We must learn to live with face masks, as we learned to live with helmets on motorcycles and seat belts in cars,” said Greece’s Deputy Development and Investment Minister Nikos Papathanassis earlier in the week.