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Some Athens Streets Closing to Cars Over COVID-19 Measures

Αssociated press

A man wearing a mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walks by shuttered shop in Monastiraki, central Athens during lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Wednesday, April 22, 2020.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - The opening of a newly-renovated Omonia Square in the heart of Greece’s capital is being followed by plans to make some streets in an historic area downtown free of cars to let people be able to meet social distancing requirements over the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Those measures say people should stay at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart, physically impossible in many areas where people congregate and shop in the highly-congested city that’s overrun with cars and vehicular traffic.

According to a joint ministerial decision published in the government gazette, authorities will for the next three months close down designated streets for pedestrians and also bicyclists and with reports showing better air quality from a lockdown that required people to mostly stay at home from March 23-May 4 when a series of gradual reopenings of businesses, beaches and other areas began.

Access will be restricted to permanent residents and vehicles linked to local businesses in the area that will be otherwise closed off to traffic during that period.