ATHENS – As the COVID-19 pandemic is easing faster than expected, largely due to vaccinations, Greece's New Democracy has further relaxed what's left of a lenient lockdown to allow food stores to operate with longer hours.
The businesses, including supermarkets and bakeries, can open at 7 a.m. and not close until 10:30 p.m., some 90 minutes longer at night than usual for supermarkets who have experienced big sales during the 15-month health crisis.
The new timetable will apply until June 21, while the number of customers allowed inside remains unchanged in accordance with safe social distance requirements still in place, said Kathimerini.
The decision also will let self-testing kits be sold not just in pharmacies but even gas stations pet shops, laundries, and tobacco stores to speed distribution as more workers are being required to take them.
The Association of Greek Pharmacists (PFS) announced on June 8 that they would stop giving them out free of charge at the end of the month after the government said the supply points would be expanded.
Sources from the Development Ministry told Kathimerini that the decision doesn't not necessarily mean that tests will be sold in all these stores, but that the government is “keeping its options open” on the issue.
The self-testing program was launched on April 12 to help speed the reopening of an economy battered by COVID-19 lockdowns.