Greek PM orders two-week hard lockdown in Athens

Greek PM orders two-week hard lockdown in Athens

Greek PM orders two-week hard lockdown in Athens

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday announced a full lockdown in the most populous region of Greece, Athens, until February 28.

The new restrictions in Athens come into effect on Thursday February 11.

"Experience from the first wave of the pandemic, as well as from the lockdown after the Christmas holidays, shows that the faster the restrictions are applied, the faster they are lifted," he said in a televised address to the nation.

"This is the reason for my decision today: To strike the Covid-19 outbreak before it spreads, reducing overall mobility. And to give our health system time, as vaccinations will proceed," he added.

Authorities registered 1,526 infections on Tuesday, more than double the number recorded a day earlier.

During the full lockdown in Athens, all retail stores and schools will close, with the exception of supermarkets, other food stores and pharmacies. Hair salons and churches will also not be allowed to open.

Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to offer delivery services.

"I will not hide: In the next two months, restrictions may be imposed and lifted depending on the level of alarm," he said, adding "this is also the last mile towards freedom."

More than 410,000 Greeks have received Covid-19 vaccinations

Greece has so far vaccinated more than 410,000 people in the country, with at least the first covid-19 dose.

This corresponds to 3.9% of the population, a Health Ministry official said on Monday.

Moreover, more than 73% of doctors have received the vaccine.

On Sunday, Greece received the first 45,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab, which has been approved for people aged under 65.

Mitsotakis said vaccinations will soon reach 500,000 and the most vulnerable will be protected by the end of spring, when the government hopes the vital tourism sector will be able to open.

"We will be much better from April," he said.

*More on GCT: The 10 most beautiful sculptures in Athens today
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.