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Face masks become mandatory at all public services in Greece

Face masks become mandatory at all public services in Greece

The use of masks by all employees and customers at public services is mandatory, Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos said in a circular on Monday.

In addition, all civil servants who belong to vulnerable groups are allowed to work from home until August 31, he added.

In terms of shift schedules, the circular leaves it up to human resources departments to reintroduce three rolling shifts (07.00-15.00, 08.00-16.00 and 09.00-17.00) or even to provide services in shifts, regardless of the usual service hours, to decongest the offices and mass transport means when personnel are going to or leaving work.

Health officials have intensified a campaign to convince citizens to wear masks in all public areas amid an upward trend in coronavirus infections.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also chaired a video conference on COVID-19 on Monday.

Government sources said that there was an evaluation of the condition and details on the course of the pandemic were presented. The PM said that the government is ready to make local intervention if this is considered necessary by the experts.

Greece recorded 150 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

This raises the total number of cases to 7,222.

1,692 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 3,394 are related to an already known case.

Twenty-three individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 66 years old and 52.2% have an underlying condition or are aged 70 or above.

The country’s pandemic death toll stands at 230. The median age of all was 77 years and 95.7% of the deceased had an underlying condition.

On Friday, in response to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Greece, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced additional protection measures.

The new measures are:

  • All restaurants, bars and catering businesses will close from 00:00 until 07:00 in the region of Attica, the islands of the Saronic Gulf and the island of Kythira until August 24
  • 50 person-limit in all public and social events except those in which special protection measures are applied as restaurants, theatres, cinemas, until August 24 at the epidemiologically burdened areas
  • The whole package of measures applied on Poros is extended to the island of Paros and Antiparos until August 24. These measures ban any congregation over 9 persons for any reason in public and private areas and four-person limit per table except for families and mandatory use of face masks throughout the island in both outdoor and indoor areas
  • The measures on Poros island are extended to August 24
  • Mandatory use of face masks in military camps, migrants and refugees hosting facilities and solidarity structures
  • Civil servants and private sector employees belonging to vulnerable groups will work from home or back office until August 31.

Additionally, Hardalias urged for the use of face masks to people returning home from holidays in highly burdened areas and recommended the use of face mask at all indoors facilities. when the necessary distance is not possible to be kept.

Authorities are also carrying out randomised tests for the novel coronavirus on travellers returning to Athens from holidays at the ports of Piraeus and Rafina.

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