ATHENS — "Greece is going through the last and most sensitive phase of the war against the coronavirus," government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said on Thursday during a press briefing, referring to the "roadmap" for the resumption of economic and social activities.
"The pandemic seems to be stabilising and the positivity index is declining but the viral load remains very high in many areas, such as Attica and the big cities. That is why the government has decided not to allow travel between regions during Easter. Because the mass movement involves the risk of the virus spreading everywhere and hospitalisation in other regions is more difficult than in urban centres," she stressed.
"First stage: on Monday, May 3, the restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to seat people outdoors with mandatory self-tests for employees, minimum distances between tables and seats, strict observance of hygiene measures and extension of the curfew until 23:00.
Second stage: on Monday, May 10, kindergartens, primary schools and high schools reopen with the same rules that apply to lyceums. That is, with self-diagnostic tests for students, teachers and administrative staff but also strict observance of protection measures.
Third stage: Tourism opens on Saturday, May 15. With guidelines for both visitors who have been vaccinated and those who will travel with a negative PCR test. On the same day, movement between regions will be allowed."
Regarding vaccinations, the government spokesperson said: "We are continuing the process of exiting the 'tunnel' of the pandemic, having as allies the weather, the self-diagnostic tests and the increasing vaccination coverage."
She also noted that legislation coming to Parliament in the next few days will also extend vaccinations to private facilities, such as clinics, health centres and diagnostic laboratories.
Referring to the tax and social insurance cuts to restart the economy, announced earlier by the prime minister, Peloni said that "as the country progresses to the post-coronavirus era, the government – as announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – is introducing five new measures that will provide additional, significant support to households and enterprises. These are measures that respond to the government's firm intention to reduce taxation, to provide liquidity to the economy and to significantly increase the prospects for a dynamic recovery, but also to attract investment."