While the government is keen to avoid a full lockdown in Attica, which has seen an increase in coronavirus infections, authorities are considering a series of additional measures to curb the spread of the virus. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made it clear that protecting public health is the priority.
However, protecting Greece’s fragile economy is also a concern, and its government is keen to avoid fallout from a second lockdown as long as the public health sector can cope. The government would consider four new restrictions if further measures for Attica fail to stem the recent upward trend in infections.
These are: the compulsory use of face masks in all public, closed and open spaces; the imposition of a public curfew after midnight (an extension of last week’s decision to close street kiosks and convenience stores at midnight); earlier closing times for restaurants and bars, which are currently forced to close at midnight; and the designation of specific hours for high-risk citizens , the sick and those over 65 to visit supermarkets.
Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias is in contact with Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis on an action plan to curb the spread of the virus in the capital. Of particular concern is overcrowding in city squares where most young people congregate after midnight after bars and restaurants close.
Although Mitsotakis made it clear in a televised address to the nation last week that the goal was to avoid a foreclosure in Attica, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has indicated that the economy could withstand a second foreclosure if it becomes inevitable.
Government sources have insisted that the health department currently has enough intensive care units to treat patients with Covid-19, and that hundreds more will be available in due course.