Greece -Gov't clamps down on outdoor venues to control cluster infections by younger people

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Food places, bars, clubs and entertainment venues will only allow seated customers as of Thursday, the government said on Tuesday, in an effort to control spiking rates of coronavirus infections driven by crowding by younger people.

Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said in a short emergency briefing that the average age of new coronavirus infections in the last 10 days is down to 27.

Citing National Public Health Organization (EODY) statistics, he said that the rate of clusters of infection had risen as well, while 32 percent of people with recorded infections mentioned an outdoor assembly as possible source of exposure to the coronavirus. In addition, hundreds of infections recorded in the last few days appear to be traced to entertainment venues.

Alimos, Glyfada rates

As an example, he said that in sample testings on Tuesday alone at the southern suburbs of Alimos and Glyfada, 66 pct of infected people were aged 15-24 years old, and the positivity rate was 6.1 pct and 8.4 pct, respectively.

The minister also announced penalties for venues for first-, second- and third-time offenders (the last one having their operation license revoked), and warned of the Delta variation of Covid-19, which has already arrived in Greece.

"So far, the rise in infections is not accompanied by a significant rise in hospitalization rates," Hardalias said, and the number of people placed on ventilators as well as the deaths continue to drop. However, he said people should get vaccinated, "to protect your parents and your aged relatives who have not been inoculated," and do regular testing before and after every social activity, including with freely available self-tests