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Society

Greek COVID-19 Lockdown Lift Seen for Businesses, Schools

ATHENS – Near frantic to get the economy going again, Greece’s New Democracy is reportedly looking at lifting a near five-month quasi-lockdown in April to get businesses and schools open again.

Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos told the state broadcaster ERT that the government is putting schools and businesses at the top of the list to operate again and that a review is underway to see if April can be done.

The latest shutdown of non-essential businesses was supposed to end March 29 after being imposed on Nov. 7, 2020 but soaring cases and epidemiological data showed it wasn’t safe, said an advisory panel of doctors and scientists.

That means restaurants, bars, taverns, caterers and the food service sector that’s been the hardest hit, thousands of which could close for good, will have to wait longer with warmer spring weather and the run-up to Easter on May 2.

protection measures and home self-testing” for coronavirus.

Earlier, Education Minister Niki Kerameus said the government wants to allow students in higher grades to return to classrooms for April, said Kathimerini, and the expert panel is set to hold an emergency meeting March 31 to discuss that and whether to allow travel between municipalities.

If schools are allowed to reopen, teachers and students will have to take COVID-19 tests before April 5, said Kathimerini, adding that the Hellenic Statistical Authority said there are about 63,000 permanent teachers and 550,000 students in general secondary education.

The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) is preparing its evaluation of the impact that the extended distance education of students had on the curriculum, reporting that 70-75 percent of course material has been done so far.

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