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Citing COVID-19 Fears, Greek Banks Limit Customer Entries

Ευρωκίνηση

Queues of people jammed outside Greek banks. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – Queues of people jammed outside doors and crowds inside Greek banks, many not wearing masks nor staying apart to slow COVID-19, has led to restrictions that will require greater use of ATM's and limiting the numbers inside.

The Hellenic Bank Association (EET) said all withdrawals up to 400 euros ($473.61 and deposits of up to 1,000 euros ($1184.03) must be done at outside ATM's and not 

Bank tellers will also no longer accept payments for utilities such as electricity, water, telephone/internet or subscription television, which must all be done electronically or via cash card.

Many Greeks, especially the elderly, prefer to stand in line at banks and other payment offices of utilities, and either don't have computers or cell phones or don't know how to use them, limiting their ability to bank unless served by a teller.

With greater use of electronic means of transferring money banks have been closing around the country but even during the pandemic people have been willing to take the risk of getting the virus by lining up inside and outside the banks.