Greek Businesses Say COVID-19 Click-and-Collect Won’t Work

ATHENS – A compromise plan to let hard-hit Greek retail stores that are closed during a second COVID-19 lockdown let people order goods online and pick them up at the store won’t bring enough revenue to help them, they said.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government, trying salvage a semblance of a Christmas sales season for businesses reeling from two shutdowns this year, approved the scheme instead of openings.

It was seen as a way to let them operate partially without exposing people to the Coronavirus but the owners said limitations of having only nine people at a time in queue outside the store, after making reservations, can’t work at places that aren’t set up for that, said Kathimerini.

The so-called “click-and-collect’ model is a hybrid form of e-commerce that is also seen as a way to alleviate pressure on overwhelmed courier and delivery companies who can’t keep with the demand from people confined to their homes mostly.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas also announces that churches will only be allowed to open to worshippers on Christmas Day and Epiphany on January 6,  but limited to nine people in church and 25 in cathedrals with no word on whether there would be fines if violated.

The rush job plan means the government has to amend permission forms that are sent to cell phones, downloaded on the Internet or in handwritten form as there is no spot for click-and-collect missions.

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said if too many people show up at shops that do opt to use click-and-collect that he would cancel the scheme, further shutting out some businesses while hairdressers and stores that sell only books and no other goods will be allowed to open.


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