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Greek Government Puts Achaia, Evia Under Strict Lockdown

February 12, 2021

ATHENS — The retail sectors and schools will be shut down in the regions of Achaia (Peloponnese) and Evia (central Greece) as of Saturday through February 22, said Nikos Hardalias, deputy minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management on Friday.

At a regular live briefing, Hardalias added that these areas are considered high-risk regions because of their high epidemiological load.

The restrictions for the region of Evia will not include the island of Skyros.

Another group of regions were declared 'high-risk' as of Saturday (Feb. 13) through February 22: the municipalities of Eordea, Thiva, Tanagra, Sparta, Pydna-Kolindros, Andravida-Kyllini, Tempi, and the islands of Kalymnos and Karpathos, Zakynthos and on Crete the city of Rethymno.

The regions of Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki will retain their high-risk status through February 22, as will Agios Nikolaos on Crete, and the towns of Thera on Santorini and Mykonos proper.

The situation on the island of Lesvos has improved, therefore the high-risk restriction measures will not be extended, and the region will be downgraded to a supervised status (yellow zone) as of Monday, February 15.

On another issue, Hardalias clarified that doctors, lawyers, and other professionals must carry their professional union IDs to be able to move freely, while journalists must be able to provide a letter permit issued by their employer.

The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) on Feb. 11 reported 1,327 cases, with 676 of those being in the Greek capital, 129 in Thessaloniki and 94 in Achaia, western Greece, where Patra is located.

It also reported 22 new fatalities and 238 hospital admissions, which brought capacity at the country’s public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to 48.5 percent and climbing, a worrisome number to health officials, said Kathimerini.

Athens’ status went into the red zone of danger on the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s map of coronavirus transmission, as Athens University Professor of Analytical Chemistry Nikolaos Thomaidis warned there may be as many as 80,000 to 90,000 symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers, based on his team’s sewage analysis.

Thessaloniki, which drove a second lockdown in November, 2020 that was more lenient and didn’t work, may not be totally shut down but could get more measures after Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias visited hospitals there.

Mayor Konstantinos Zervas, however, urged the closing of schools after EODY data showed that 8.5-11 percent of new cases was found in those under 12.

The government had allowed day care centers, kindergartens and elementary schools to reopen during the second lockdown, but not high schools, and now all students are going to be taught remotely, online for some time.

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