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Society

Face Masks Mandatory Even Outdoors in Greece, Near Crowds

ATHENS – It is now compulsory to wear a face mask in Greece to help slow the spread of COVID-19, in all enclosed places of work as well as outdoors in open-air areas where there are crowds, such as laiki street markets.

Despite that, violations are rampant outdoors with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitting it's essentially impossible to check every person for compliance even as police routinely do thousands of inspections daily.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said the measure applies nationwide and not just in hot spots where the second wave has been especially resurging, although not to worrying levels yet.

Addressing the same briefing, Gkikas Magiorkinis, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Athens University, said that October would be a difficult month due to dropping temperatures which might lead to a spike in cases.

“If we stay at this level, we’re alright,” he said, however, although there had been concern about COVID-19 colliding with the flu season which has in recent years has been deadly.

There were 408 more infections on Oct. 13, bringing the number of cases to 23,060 and six deaths, raising that grim toll to 462 now. There were 170 infections in Attica around  the Greek capital where it's been especially difficult to enforce measures including a requirement to keep a safe social distance of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart. 

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