In a much awaited announcement, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis officially confirmed reports that there will be a ban on travel between prefectures for Holy Week (beginning 26 April) and Easter, said there will be a gradual opening of the hardest hit sectors of the economy such as restaurants and tourism, as well as all schools.

“I have said that our objective is to ensure safe Easter holidays and a free [of public health restrictions] summer. That is why we should not travel for Easter,” the PM said in a nationally televised statement.

“Attica and large cities still have large numbers of COVID-19 carriers. Their en masse movement creates a danger of the transmission of the virus everywhere, and we know that the situation in provincial hospitals is difficult. Therefore, we must not consider only our vacations but also the health of the residents of villages and islands.”

Government plan for gradual return to normalcy

Mitsotakis also announced a much-awaited plan for the opening of various sectors of the economy and schools.

“Firstly, on Monday, 3 May, restaurants [and other food and beverage establishments] will operate in outdoors spaces, with mandatory [COVID-19] self-tests for employees, the necessary distancing of tables and seats, and implementation of existing hygiene measures, and free movement will be extended to 11pm,” he announced.

“Secondly, on [Monday] 10 May, gymnasia [junior high schools] and primary schools will re-open. Here, also, self-tests will be mandatory for students, teachers, and administrators, as will all remaining health measures in classrooms.”

“Thirdly, tourism will open on Saturday, 15 May, with specific terms for people who have been vaccinated and for those who will have to travel with tests. Moreover, on 15 May, travel between prefectures will be permitted for all citizens and certain cultural activities will be allowed.”

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