A spike in coronavirus cases in Greece has prompted Athens officials to issue new rules for the hospitality and entertainment sectors, including restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, and places of entertainment. As of today, inspectors will begin strict enforcement of the COVID restrictions that apply from July 16 until August 31.
The most recent epidemiological report from EODY says there were 2,794 new cases of COVID-19 reported over the past 24 hours, and that 6 more people have succumbed to the virus. This brings the total death toll to 12,819. As for the new measures, they include the following:
- Only seated customers will be permitted in places of entertainment, either indoors or outdoors. This means there will be no dancing etc.
- Indoor spaces of restaurants, cinemas and theaters, etc. will only operate as Covid-free venues that admit only Covid-immunized customers, either through vaccination or via the presence of antibodies from previous infection. In addition, these venues may only operate at 85 percent capacity.
- Owners of outdoor places of entertainment can choose to operate them as Covid-free areas.
- Indoor places of entertainment will be permitted to operate only as Covid-free venues with the coverage of up to 85 percent of usable surface area while also observing the distancing and protection rules.
- All places of entertainment, both indoors and outdoors, must follow the minimum distancing rules that apply for the restaurant sector.
- Finally, minors can only enter Covid-free hospitality or entertainment venues after parents submit a self test that is attested to be negative.
According to the announcement, violations of the new rules will cause stiff fines and other penalties. Repeat offenders will be fined and penalized more severely. The fine for a first offense ranges from 2,000 euros for premises under 200 square meters and a week-long closure of the business. Larger venues will be fined 5,000 euros and suffer a week-long closure. This fine becomes a 10,000 euros infraction with a 15-day closure for a second offense. Any business caught three times will suffer license removal and a 60-day closure.
Greece, Spain, and other countries are tightening COVID restrictions as the Delta variant spreads around the world. In Greece the vaccination plan has stalled once again. Fully vaccinated British travelers will be cleared for travel to Spain and Greece without quarantine beginning July 19th.
Finally, more than 5,000 anti-vaccine protesters rallied in Athens on Wednesday in opposition to Greece’s vaccination program against COVID. Germany has advised citizens from traveling to Greece and the Netherlands as cases there rise in both countries.