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Politics

Hardalias: Rollback of Coronavirus Measures to Begin after May Day Weekend

ATHENS – The restrictive coronavirus measures will start being rolled back after the long May Day weekend, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias formally revealed on Monday, while calling on the public to forget celebrating by going on excursions.

The celebration of May Day, which is Greece's Labor Day, will have to be postponed for the first Saturday following the first rollback, he announced during the daily briefing with coronavirus task force spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras.

Speaking of the timetable, Hardalias said restrictions would be rolled back gradually in May and June, leaving a two-week period in-between each rollback to monitor developments, and to allow various sectors in the economy to prepare for reopening. (Strict measures began on March 23.)

"We are preparing intensely for the day after," the minister said, but warned that the transition will not be as easy as it sounds. "The new challenge as of next week is for people to move around while observing rules of personal protection and respect for the rest of our fellow-citizens," he noted.

The minister also said that lockdown in Miki, northern Greece, would be extended to May 4 preventatively; that curfews will be lifted as of Tuesday for the coastline promenade areas of Patras, Thessaloniki and Volos; and that Kastoria and Xanthi, among others, will see strick lockdown lifted the same day as well.

In addition, the entry point of Kipoi from Turkey, at the Evros border, will be strictly monitored and people required to test for the virus and live at specified hotels for 14 days, just as is done for incoming flights from abroad. Over the weekend in particular, he said, 489 people arrived on 6 flights, all were checked, 4 were found positive to the virus and all were transferred to hotels.

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