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Lifting of Greece's Second COVID-19 Lockdown On Hold, Data Evaluated

Αssociated Press

An empty street in central Athens, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – As it appears increasingly unlikely that a second lockdown in Greece that began Nov. 7 will be lifted on schedule on Dec. 1, the easing of restrictions will be determined by whether cases are dropping as well as deaths and the number of people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs.)

Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, applauded for imposing an early lockdown in the spring that lasted 10 weeks and saved lives, admitted he had waited too long for the second, hoping to keep the staggering economy going and saving the Christmas season.

That delay, along with so many people not following health protocols, not wearing masks or staying safe social distances and young people going to nightclubs the government let stay open worsened a second wave.

Now, said Kathimerini, his administration may have gradual lifting times week-by-week starting the first of December although even that, said many businesses, won't salvage a critical holiday revenue period for them.

The paper said the rolling lifting of measures and the lockdown will see primary schools and kindergartens reopen first, on Dec. 7, and then stores sometime in mid-December, not long before Christmas, although caterers won't know about their fate until probably Dec. 10.

“Our next steps will depend on the data,” Mitsotakis said, the paper previously reporting that it's possible restaurants will remain shut, an economic killer for them during a peak period, although they might be allowed to open with a limit of four people per table, the report also added.