ATHENS – Deputy Development Minister Nikos Papathanasis, in an interview with MEGA TV, on Tuesday stressed that the final decisions for the restaurant and catering sector will be made after May 18.
He noted that there was a discussion underway on whether shopping centres might be opened earlier, while among ideas being considered was to allow indoor seating to operate if it was opened up to create a semi-outdoor space.
"Public health has a primary role and value, so we need to evaluate the first step taken yesterday, then the second step that will start on May 11, and then the experts will decide if we can open them earlier," the deputy minister said.
Regarding the operating conditions, Papathanasis said that the government's intentions are for restaurants to regain the capacity they had before the health crisis, that is, to cover the required square metres and serve the same number of customers as before.
He referred to the relevant discussions that are underway with the municipalities and their central union KEDE, in order to allow restaurants to occupy more square metres of public spaces and sidewalks with no extra charge.
"Even on the road, space can be found," Papathanasis said, "as is the case in many European countries."
He also referred to the issue of the price of disposable masks and stressed that the masks have now dropped to 55 cents and will fall below 50 cents.