Masks compulsory

Greece will make mask-wearing compulsory at more indoor public spaces to contain the spread of novel coronavirus after a small flair-up of Covid-19 infections in the second half of July, following the country opening up to international visitors.  Health authorities made mask-wearing mandatory for consumers at all supermarkets ten days ago.  Masks must continue to be worn on all public transport, taxis, hospitals and health centres.  The new measures come into effect from Wednesday 29th July 2020 and will require masks to be worn by everyone (customers and employees) inside retail shops, food stores, public service offices, banks, post offices, bakeries, butchers, hairdressers, beauty salons, vets, doctors surgeries and all lifts/elevators.  All churches will be included from 1st August.

The Government Health Minister said earlier this week that the country was not facing a second wave of infections but needs to remain vigilant.  The rise of infections in Athens and Thessaloniki proves the virus is still here, the requirement is for the collective good.  The situation must not cause panic but neither cause complacency.  Greece has managed to contain the spread of infections to 4,227 cases and 202 deaths up to Monday after imposing an early lockdown.  Some European countries have already started to introduced new quarantine measures for certain tourist destinations, including Spain, fearing a second wave of infections.

It was announced today that 'cruise tourism' would be allowed from August, with cruise ships being able to vist Greece and the Greek Islands.  It was stated that from the first day of August, cruise ships will be allowed to visit six ports when first entering Greek waters, including Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu and Katakolo.  These ports will only accept cruise liners if all passengers on board have had a negative test at least 72 hours before boarding, while random tests will also be carried out.  After their first mooring, cruise ships will then be allowed to moor at any other Greek port included in their itinerary.  It was made very clear that this plan will be reviewed only in case of changes to the course of the pandemic.