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Society

As Cases Rise, More COVID-19 Health Protocols Take Hold in Greece

September 21, 2020

ATHENS – More restrictive measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 went into effect Sept. 21 in Greece's capital and surrounding area as cases continued to soar over defiance and tourists bringing in infections.

The additional protocols will be in place for at least two weeks depending on their effect and extend the requirement for wearing masks to outdoor public gatherings such as the public markets known as Laiki.

All concerts and cultural events are also suspended in another blow for the arts and performers, while indoor cinemas are closed, and there are limits of nine people for private and public gatherings, 20 for weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Additionally, businesses will have to have 40 percent of employees work from home – it wasn't said how that would be possible for those in jobs that don't allow working remotely – and work hours will be staggered for public employees to prevent congestion on mass transport, a danger spot for spreading the virus.

Authorities are also urging individuals aged over 65 years old to limit their outings and interactions with other people to the essential but that plea hasn't worked for the past few months with many people ignoring it.

There are also plans to quarantine people belonging to vulnerable groups like the homeless and migrants who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus but are asymptomatic who will be put in hotels, said Kathimerini.

Authorities are urging owners and managers of private businesses to observe health protocols because 29 percent of cases have been linked to workplaces but there hasn't been extensive prosecution of places such as bars that allowed people to congregate.

Authorities have said they will conduct rapid testing for COVID-19 at schools, public transportation and hospitals as cases just keep climbing, regularly passing 300 daily and fears it could hit 1,000 or more and bring a second lockdown.

The first lockdown in March was gradually lifted beginning May 4 after ten weeks but since then has seen many people trying to resume life as it was before the pandemic hit and spreading the Coronavirus that has proved very resilient.

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