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Greece Cuts COVID Safe Social Distance as Pandemic Rises

ATHENS – Setting aside warnings from its advisory team of doctors and scientists that there will likely be a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as cases keep jumping up, along with hospitalizations, Greece’s New Democracy government is further easing health measures.

While most people long ago ignored requirements to stay at least 2 meters (6.56 feet) apart, the so-called safe social distance has been reduced to 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) although even that is essentially moot now.

The decision was published in the Government Gazette and went into effect on Oct. 25, the guidelines pertaining to all private and public offices and services, businesses, entertainment and leisure venues, retail stores and public spots.

It applies to everyone, including the fully vaccinated, including outside regardless of the size or scope of the space, although it wasn’t said whether it would be imposed where it’s almost impossible, such as public transportation, schools and universities where some aren’t even trying to enforce any conditions.

The gazette also includes a ministerial decision allowing supermarkets and shopping centers to go back to regular operating hours after these were extended last year to make up for a requirement limiting numbers, said Kathimerini.

The extended working hours for supermarkets were from 7 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. and for shopping centers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. All the conditions will be reviewed on Nov. 8 although the government shows no signs of wanting to do anything to slow an economic recovery hampered by previous lockdowns.

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