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covid-19 masks
*Image Credit: Eurokinissi

From Saturday, Greece has made face masks compulsory in all indoor public places.

They had already been obligatory on public transport, supermarkets, and Shops providing goods and services of all kind etc., but the government has now brought in stricter measures to try to fight a growing number of clusters of covid-19 cases in the country.

Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias announced the new measures on television on Friday.

Hardalias noted people with medical issues – such as difficulties breathing – or children under 3 years of age, are exempted from the mask-wearing measure.

Personal responsibility “was and is the secret success of Greece,” the minister said, “and at this stage we must all exhibit the same sense responsibility and awareness.”

In addition, restrictions are imposed on visits to retirement homes, facilities for vulnerable people, refugee centres and hospitals (to Aug. 15), except people accompanying patients.

Ceremonies such as baptisms, marriages and funerals are restricted to 100 people each (Aug. 3-15), keeping social distancing.

This coming week in particular (August 3 to 8), nightclubs, bars, live-music venues, bar-restaurants, cafes and such may only allow seated clients.

Recommended social distances must be observed at beaches, and public and private boats, throughout the month of August, while all open-air events, including saints’ festivals, are banned until August 31.

In addition, the suspension of air and land connections with Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia is extended to August 15.

Hardalias added that Greece is “becoming vigilant without panic” and called on the public to abandon relaxing of measures and to follow the regulations.

Greece reported 78 new coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour reporting period, of which 17 are from incoming travellers.

This raises the total number of cases to 4,477.

1,267 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 2,218 are related to an already known case.

Meanwhile, 9 patients are in ICU.

The country’s pandemic death toll remains at 206.

The Hellenic National Defence General Staff on Friday also announced that the use of non-medical face masks is now mandatory at all installations operated by or affiliated with military forces, including offices open to the public, war museums and historical sites.

Foreign and Greek Cypriot students, who come to Greece to study in domestic military schools, or to participate in student exchange programs, must present proof of a 7-day quarantine and proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test performed 48 hours before arrival in Greece.

Moreover, swearing-in ceremonies of conscripts are performed outdoors without guests or visitors.

The Hellenic National Defense General Staff also urged anew the matter of individual responsibility in diligently observing personal hygiene measures and rules of social distancing.

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