December 3rd, Greek government spokesman Petzas announced at a press conference that Greece will extend the period of the national blockade from the original end of 6 a.m. on December 7 to the end of 6 a.m. on December 14 because the epidemic situation remains unstable.
The decrease in COVID-19 cases is slower than expected, and the pressure on the public health systems in Thessaloniki and northern Greece remains enormous, Petzás said.
Asked when schools, barbershops and retail stores will reopen, Petss said: “The exact time when these departments will reopen will take patience, and we will need some time to observe. Previously, several medical experts suggested that the reopening of schools should be set for the beginning of next year.
According to Greek media reports, the Greek Ministry of Development and Investment announced in a notice on December 3 that seasonal stores can open from December 7, but durable goods, including books, clothing, shoes and electronic equipment, are still banned.
The number of seasonal stores is very small, so reopening these stores will not pose a great risk to the epidemic situation in the country, said Azonis Georgiadiz, the Greek Minister of Development and Investment.
He said that when other types of stores can reopen will depend on the actual development of the epidemic. Details of the opening hours and operating methods of seasonal stores will be announced by the Greek Trade and Consumer Protection Association on December 4.
Although some media predicted that retail stores are expected to reopen on December 14, Exatillos, president of the Panhellenic Medical Association, said on December 3 that the number of intubated patients in the intensive care unit must be reduced to double digits before the government decides to reopen the market.
The latest data released by the Greek Ministry of Health on December 3 is that 622 people were intubated for rescue. “The government is currently considering opening the market before the New Year holiday to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the economy,” Exatillos said.
However, according to epidemiological data, if we open the market now, there is a good chance of a surge in cases, and the number of people receiving intubation treatment in intensive care will surge from the current 600 to 900. That will be beyond the limits that our healthcare system can afford.”
Epusas, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Athens, said nightlife is a “boost” for the spread of the virus, and the curfew currently in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. needs to last for a while.
He pointed out that rigid demand industries should only be allowed to open under the premise that epidemiological data allows. And the affordability of the health care system is an important reference indicator for reopening the market.