Hardalias: Stiff Penalties if Social Distancing Rules Are Violated at Organized Beaches

ATHENS – With high unseasonal temperatures expected in Greece for the weekend, 515 organized beaches will open this Saturday amid social distancing restrictions that were reiterated by Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Thursday, during the thrice-weekly coronavirus live briefing.

Hardalias said violators of crowding restrictions (40 people every 1,000 sqm and 4 m between beach umbrellas), will be stiff – from 5,000 to 20,000 euros and suspension of operations for 30 days, suspensions multipliable by three if violations are repeated. He called this stage of returning to the new normality "a landmark point of our efforts, which we must pass successfully."

"If some are not ready to open by observing all measures, they should not hurry and risk it," he said, as public health comes first.

As of Monday, May 18, travel to mainland Greece, Crete and Evia will be allowed, while travel to all islands will be allowed as of May 25, if all goes well, he said. On Monday also, all zoological parks, green parks, archaeological sites will open and filming outdoors will be allowed.

Speaking of the Nea Smyrni, in central Greece's Larissa region, ongoing contact tracing after a limited coronavirus outbreak this week, Hardalias said that 652 samples were collected on Wednesday and 72 on Thursday, with results pending. On Lesvos island, a total of 81 samples have been collected after two coronavirus outbreaks among migrants. Tests are also pending.



ATHENS - A three-day debate on the motion of censure against the government, submitted yesterday by the leader of the main opposition, Alexis Tsipras, will start in the parliament plenary session on Friday, at 18:00.

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