‘Chaos’ and huge queues as citizens rush to the shops ahead of lockdown

'Chaos' and huge queues as citizens rush to the shops ahead of lockdown

'Chaos' and huge queues as citizens rush to the shops ahead of lockdown

Ermou, the main shopping street in central Athens, was packed with people getting last minute shopping before Greece goes into a second nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

Queues formed outside stores with consumers waiting patiently to make their purchases, before being locked in their homes again.

Most retail trade stores will be shut down, except for supermarkets (no change in hours), local markets, kiosks and the e-commerce section of retail stores.

Opticians and stores selling hearing aids will remain open, but only by appointment.

Stores selling telecoms, computers, and phones will work through e-shops only.

Other stores remaining open include: pharmacies, dry cleaners, kiosks (24 hours), gas stations, health and veterinary service centers, pet shops, and open markets (laikes), which will work at 50% capacity, and distancing of 5 meters between stalls.

'Chaos' and huge queues as citizens rush to the shops ahead of lockdown

'Chaos' and huge queues as citizens rush to the shops ahead of lockdown

Nationwide lockdown

Earlier on Thursday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis officially announced a second nationwide lockdown for Greece for at least three weeks.

Mitsotakis said COVID-19 cases are rising exponentially and has asked people not to attack epidemiological experts, calling this a political decision.

He said he chose “to take drastic measures sooner rather than later” after aggressive increase in cases and emphasized that he cannot take the risk of allowing the health system to come under “unbearable” pressure.

The Prime Minister also ensured that Greece has strong economic buffer to deal with a second nationwide lockdown.

The lockdowns, which will begin at 6AM on Saturday morning, have some difference with the spring lockdown. Unlike in spring, primary schools and kindergartens will remain open.

*Image Credit: Protothema