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Acropolis, Other Ancient Greek Sites to Reopen May 18

Αssociated Press

File- The ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill was lit blue during a rehearsal, in Athens on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS -- The Acropolis and other ancient sites in Greece will reopen May 18 and museums will end their lockdown June 15.

Culture Minister Lina Medoni said visitor limits would be imposed at most of the reopened sites, including open-air cinemas, which will start operating on June 1 and will keep about half the available seats empty.

Seating changes, she said, will also be introduced at the ancient theaters of Epidaurus, in southern Greece, and Herodes Atticus in Athens where open-air concerts and performances are held each summer.

“In each case, special measures will be taken to protect staff and the public,” Medoni said.

She did however clarify that the smooth running of cultural events and activities this summer depends almost entirely on the latest epidemiological data and as such all are open to changes.

Mendoni also elaborated that as far as summer cinemas and open-air events (music concerts, theatre shows) are concerned, a 40 pct capacity maximum will be observed to prevent extreme proximity among attendees.

Visitors in archeological sites should keep a 1.5 meters distance to the next person - 2 meters at museums. In museums, restrictions will apply to how many can enter within an hour, while priority will be given to electronic ticket holders.

The Culture Minister also announced the immediate legislation of copyright protection and anti-piracy laws, including the dynamic site blocking of online film and music traffickers.

With its vital tourism industry heavily affected by the pandemic, Greece is expected to sink back into deep recession in 2020 and is hoping to salvage some of the holiday season with an expected tourism boost.