Greece tightens preventive measures in Attica region as new infections surge

Greek government announced on Tuesday the strengthening of preventive measures in Attica region, which has the highest concentration of new COVID-19 cases in Greece.

Out of 310 confirmed new infections registered within the past 24 hours, 197 were recorded in Attica, which encompasses the capital city of Athens, Greece’s National Public Health Organization (EODY) announced on Tuesday.

To date, confirmed cases have totaled 13,730 since the start of the pandemic in Greece on Feb. 26. Three more deaths due to the virus were reported on Tuesday, bringing fatalities to 313, EODY said.

“Wherever and whenever we trace an increase of cases, we are proceeding immediately in the necessary actions to prevent more difficult situations,” Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management, said at a regular press briefing on the course of the pandemic in Greece.

Starting Wednesday until the end of September across Attica, the use of face masks is mandatory at all indoor public and private spaces, and at outdoor places where many people gather and it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters, such as public squares, bus stops, long queues at shops and public services, as well as protest rallies, Hardalias announced.

Effective also as of Wednesday in the region, attendees at live concerts in open-air venues must not exceed a 50-percent capacity. Hardalias said they must be seated, not smoke or drink alcohol, and must wear face masks at all times, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Moreover, the operation of indoor live venues and concert halls is suspended for 14 days. Cinemas and theaters must operate at a maximum of 60 percent capacity, restaurants will run with a maximum of six seated customers, and attendees in social gatherings must not exceed 50 people, the Greek official announced.

In addition, authorities strongly advise citizens, in particular those aged over 65, to wear face masks in all open-air spaces, regardless of the crowds and safety distances maintained.