ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said said he would lift a three-week COVID-19 lockdown if it works to hold down the number of cases and deaths and people obey health measures.
The shutdown of non-essential businesses ends Nov. 28 and would be lifted if everyone does their part, he said, which could get stores open again in December although many aren't expected to survive another closing.
“It’s in our hands, in the hands of all of us to be able to achieve this,” he told a teleconference of his ruling New Democracy’s secretariat.
“I know that the next three weeks will be tough but I have no doubt that the measures we have taken will be adhered to by our fellow citizens and we will reduce the escalation of the second wave of the pandemic,” he said, reported Kathimerini.
“Then, in a smart way, we can gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity in December, but having all received the message that this virus is constantly lurking, is a constant danger, we cannot afford to deal with it carelessly,” he said.
Businesses – especially restaurants – battered by the eight-month pandemic are counting on some semblance of a Christmas and New Year's holiday shopping season to recoup a small part of losses.
Mitsotakis had been widely lauded for bringing the first lockdown in March that lasted up to 10 weeks and held down the cases and fatalities from the Coronavirus but they began rising when the country opened to tourists in July and suddenly spiked in October with many people refusing to wear masks, keep safe social distances and the young especially taking to partying and crowding public squares when clubs closed at midnight under a curfew.