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Greece’s COVID-19 “Lockdown” Essentially Over, More Openings

Αssociated Press

A family looks at an empty street in the Plaka district of Athens during a lockdown order by the Greek government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Athens, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - A week after a pseudo-lockdown five months long and aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Greece was mostly lifted across the country, more areas will be allowed to open businesses on April 19.

That includes the hard-hit northern city of Kozani where businesses can sell to shoppers online who can then pick up their goods outside the stores in the so-called click-and-collect purchasing method.

Also, driving schools can reopen in the country, said Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, adding that instructors and students must have conducted Coronavirus self-tests and show they are not infected, while driving theory lessons stay online.

But the New Democracy government’s panel of doctors and scientists recommended against opening shopping malls and beauty salons amid reports Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ administration is pressing them to back openings.

Many parts of the country are still deemed unsafe and with a high risk of spreading the pandemic, said Kathimerini, including the islands of Thassos and Kythnos, and the municipalities of Rethymno, Phaistos, Maroneia-Sapes, Didymoteicho, Pydna-Kolindros, Kavala, Volos, Sintiki in Serres and North Tzoumerka.

While the alleged lockdown is still in place, it’s been widely ignored or defied and little attempt made to enforce remaining health restrictions although most people are still wearing masks although not staying safe social distances apart.