Petsas: Greece Has Taken “Significant Steps” toward the New Normality

ATHENS – "Significant steps have been taken on the path toward the new normality," government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Monday during a press briefing.

"On Saturday, organised beaches were opened and, from Sunday, the churches also opened. The general picture in both cases is positive," he said.

"The vast majority of citizens continued to demonstrate responsibility and those in charge ensured the implementation of the rules. Today, two weeks after the first steps in lifting the lockdown, as the relevant data shows, the mobility of the population has significantly increased but without exacerbating the epidemiological indicators. All the key elements – from the number of positive cases to the unlucky victims – have, on average, remained the same," Petsas told reporters.

   He added that "at the same time, admissions to ICUs are declining. Simultaneously, the number of tests performed has increased significantly. The mobility of the population increased by 33 pct on average in May compared to April, when the most restrictive measures were in force."

As the government spokesperson pointed out, "a total of 197,000 businesses are back in operation over the four stages of the economy's reopening, from May 4 to May 25, ie 65 pct of the companies whose operation was suspended. A total of 532,000 employees at the companies back in operation returned to work, which corresponds to 77 pct of the employees of all companies that had been suspended."

Petsas added that the government is drawing up a coherent plan for the resumption of tourism, which will be announced in the coming days.

"Given the importance of tourism and restaurants for the country's economy, especially in the second half of the year, our plan will cover the entire triptych: work, taxation, liquidity," he underlined.

"We will support employment and income as much as we can. But let's not delude ourselves. This summer will not be like last year. And it shouldn't be compared to that. Because we shut down the economy and stayed home to deal with the pandemic. To stay healthy. And we voluntarily sacrificed a part of our prosperity to achieve it. So this year, in the field of tourism, we will start from scratch. Whatever we gain will be a success. And we will do everything we can to get a bigger piece of a much smaller tourism pie."



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