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Mitsotakis: New COVID-19 Restrictions in Effect for November

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Dimitris Papamitsos)

ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the intensification of anti-coronavirus restrictive measures during a televised address to the nation on Saturday.

The measures will take effect on Tuesday November 3 at 06:00 and will stay effective for one month.

Greece is now divided into two zones of health safety and protection from the novel coronavirus, as opposed to the current four: Monitoring and High-Risk zones.

The Monitoring Zones include all the prefectures which until now showed relatively fewer infections, namely the 'green' and 'yellow' alert areas. Standing measures there stay, said the Prime Minister, but are intensified: use of face masks everywhere, indoors and outdoors, an overnight curfew from 12:00 midnight to 05:00, telework for a 50 pct of the work force in the public and private sector, and distance learning in universities.

The High-Risk Zones include the areas which until now stood in the 'red' and 'orange' alert areas, including northern Greece and the Attica region, said the Prime Minister. On top of standing measures there, the operation of all restaurants is suspended, exempting food delivery and take-away orders. Bars, night-clubs, coffee shops, cinemas, theaters, museums and indoor gyms will all shut down entirely for one month.

Mitsotakis clarified that unlike Greece's first lockdown earlier in the year, citizens can move freely in the hours beyond the curfew and without having to request an outing permit via SMS messaging. Travelling from one prefecture to another is also still allowed, he added.

"We are not talking about a total 'freezing' of daily life," he explained, "as a universal lockdown would be the last step and would hurt the economy and society," he stressed.

Like other countries in Europe, Greece is in the grip of a resurgence of the virus. Daily infections surged over 1,000 this week, peaking at 1,690 Friday.