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Greek Bars, Eateries Want to Pump Up the Volume, Play Music

June 6, 2021

ATHENS – It's been silent running as far as musis is concerned at Greek bars and restaurants – the sound turned off during outdoor dining under COVID-19 restrictions, but they want it turned on again fast to bring business.

They're still hoping to be allowed to open indoors as well as the New Democracy government has scaled back most health restrictions under an already eased lenient lockdown in a bid to attract tourists who were allowed to enter May 15.

Music hasn't been allowed because health advisors said it would make people dining or drinking at outdoor tables lean in too close to each other to be heard over the constant din, allowing easier spread of the Coronavirus.

A decision on music is expected by June 11 from the government's panel of doctors and scientists making recommendations on what health measures can be scaled back although mask and safe social distance requirements are often being violated.

The call will be based on epidemiological data on how fast cases, deaths and hospitalizations are falling as a vaccination program is speeding in a bid to inoculate 70 percent of the population, the mark needed to slow the pandemic.

A decision will be made on whether the number of guests at formal functions will be allowed to increase from 100 to 200, said Kathimerini.

The paper also added that sources it didn't name said that officials are mulling whether people who are fully vaccinated should be exempted from taking self-tests to go to work as of June 15.

The government has decided, the report said, to allow visitors at nursing homes under strict conditions that will limited to facilities where 95 percent of the workers and 85 percent of the residents are fully vaccinated. Visitors must also be fully vaccinated and have a negative self-test.

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