2nd Lockdown - Limited Reopening

Although Christmas (decoration) shops, mostly located in the larger cities, had already been permitted to open from Monday 7th December, the Greek Government announced on Friday 11th December some further limited reopening measures for the Christmas holiday period.  These Christmas reopening measures are limited owing to a continuous high number of cases in many of the country's population centres, particulary Athens and Thessaloniki, and a high hospitalisation rate.  

Retailers can now only operate with online ordering using the 'click-away' method, with customers only able to collect their goods from outside the store, without entering the stores.

Only hairdressers and bookstores will be permitted to reopen for business on Monday 14th December, from 7:00am to 9:00pm

Churches are permitted to open on Christmas and Epiphany Day only, with all the necessary protective measures in place and limitations on faithful allowed inside.  Only nine people will be allowed into church at one given time, and 25 in larger cathedrals.

There will be no 'blessing of the waters' ceremonies on Epiphany Day, 6th January, a tradition in most seaside towns like Ermioni.

International travellers who fly into Greece from 18th December to 7th January will have to enter a mandatory 3-day quarantine on arrival (down from an originally stated 10-day quarantine).  All arrivals will also be subject to a mandatory rapid antigen test. 

From 13th December to 7th January, a nationwide curfew will be in effect from 10:00pm to 5:00am.  Movement outside is permitted only by sending a text message to 13033 and receiving permission for specific reasons.

The majority of Greece's lockdown measures will remain in place over the Christmas and New Year period.  All retail stores, entertainment venues, schools, restaurants, bars and cafes will remain shut.  A curfew currently in place from 9:00pm to 5:00am will be reduced by 1 hour.  Authoroties have no intention of amending this for Chrismas Eve or New Year's Eve.  A Government spokesman said that despite 5 weeks of national lockdown measures, Coronavirus infections remain high, piling pressure on the country's health system.

Gatherings at homes over Christmas Eve/Day and New Year's Eve/Day will be limited to a maximum of 9 people from 2 families.

Citing the preservation of health and life as its priority, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, which convened on 15th December, urged dioceses, parishes, monasteries and institutions, as well as the clergy and laity, to observe the legislative measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, inside and outside churches during the holiday season.

The Synod said that churches will remain open for the faithful both for worship and private prayer, as well as for attendance during the main services of three of the great Feasts of the Twelve Days – Christmas, Circumcision of Christ, Epiphany – observing the prescribed measures to avoid overcrowding: one person per 15 square metres, with a minimum distance of 2 metres between them, with the obligatory use of a mask throughout the rituals.

It was announced on Saturday 2nd January 2021 that the national lockdown will now be be extended until Monday 11th January, when it is planned for schools to re-open after the holiday break.  All shops and businesses that were originally allowed to open for the holiday period will now be closed.  This affects businesses in the retail sector, the arts, tourism, transportation services as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.  Curfew restrictions will revert back to start at 9:00pm until 5:00am from Sunday 3rd January.

On Friday 8th January, it was announced that the national lockdown will be extended a further week until Monday 18th January.