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COVID-19 Rising, Greek Court Workers Want More Protections

August 28, 2020

ATHENS – With the COVID-19 pandemic almost spiraling out of control again, five unions representing Greek judges and prosecutors wrote Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras asking strong health measures be required before courts open in September.

They want plexiglass dividers in front of the judges’ panel, witness stands and the lawyers’ seating area, as well as in the public gallery and waiting rooms to prevent the virus' spread among workers and visitors to courts.

The unions also want all court employees and anyone coming in to have their  temperature taken, and the details recorded in case someone is infected and health officials need to trace and track contacts.

The government already has required masks in public gathering areas and for a safe social distance of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart but that's been defied or ignored in many instances, especially in bars and night clubs.

The unions said  all court staff or police officers stationed at courts returning from vacation should undergo a diagnostic test before returning to work, worry jumping after another 259 cases and six deaths were recorded Aug. 26.

That included 25 from tourists who were allowed to enter beginning in July in a bid to get the economy going somewhat after a long lockdown imposed in March that didn't start being lifted until May 4, week-by-week.

There were 9,531 cases, rocketing in August, and 35 patients still on ventilators in Intensive Care Units (ICU's) as the government keeps imposing more measures but hasn't been able to get the pandemic controlled.

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