ATHENS - A warning to people that the lockdown measures will continue to fully apply until May 4 - and that no one should be making any plans for May Day - was given during daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday, by Deputy Civil Protection and Crisis Management Minister Nikos Hardalias.
"The effort is not yet over. We might be ready to pass onto the next phase but that does not mean that we can forget which stage of the effort we are currently at," Hardalias said, commenting on the increased traffic and large number of unjustified movements observed in recent days, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki.
He emphasised the need to continue being careful "as the virus is here, it can be anywhere, and strike in exactly the same way as before. Until a vaccine is found, our daily life will not be what we have known. We must learn to live differently, with the protection of our own health and that of our fellow human beings as our primary concern."
The deputy minister said that the Greek people will be officially informed about the gradual easing of the measures at the start of next week, stressing that the government was acting according to a plan, after studying all the available facts.
The gradual return, he emphasised, with not be to the previous state but to a "new normality", while warning that the process will not be at all easy. "We will have cases and admissions to hospital and, unfortunately, deaths. There will be sites of resurgence and we must continue to observe hygiene measures for a very long time," he said, adding that any flouting of the hygiene measures "cannot be accepted by anyone".
He noted that, in some cases, measures will need to taken anew and some areas may need to go back into quarantine, while the assessment of the situation at any given time will be continuous.
Regarding attendance of courts and deeds registries by the public, Hardalias said that this should be the B2 code used for banks.
Hardalias announced that tests on airline passengers from abroad are continuing, with four flights carrying 220 people arriving on Friday, of which one tested positive for the virus. The other passengers will remain in quarantine for 14 days. He said that curfew restrictions for areas within the Ioannina municipality will continue until May 5, while the additional restrictions imposed on the island of Mykonos will end on April 28.
On the work of the civil defence service for tracing Covid-19 cases, he said that 1117 cases have been traced and 2986 close contacts found, who have been advised to observe a 14-day quarantine at home.