as specter of Covid-19 returns
The Greek government on Friday afternoon announced stricter measures to dissuade outdoor public assemblies in the country, especially after midnight, in the wake of a surge in the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections, which, by extension, have increased the number of people being treated in ICUs and related deaths. Specifically, retailers are ordered to close between midnight and 5 a.m. in the greater Athens area (Attica prefecture) and more than a dozen regions in the country with a high concentration of new Covid-19 infections. Given that bars and eateries already close at midnight, excluding takeout and delivery services, the new restrictions aim at mini markets, liquor stores and road-side kiosks. The idea is to close down sales points of alcohol beverages, tobacco products and snacks aims mostly at young people congregating in squares and other outdoor areas. Pharmacies and gas stations are excluded. Between 250 and 400 new cases have been reported on a daily basis over the past month and a half, particularly in the greater Athens area -- and with a large bloc of the latter attributed to non-tourist foreign nationals, i.e. non-EU migrants and would-be asylum seekers.