Greece Extends Coronavirus Measures, New Flight Restrictions
Authorities in Greece have decided to extend a number of measures on air travel in the country in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 until 30 November. Officials have also issued a series of new instructions for passenger flights that will also be in effect until the end of the month.
Rules for international travel
As announced by the Greek Civil Aviation Authority, the following measures will be in place for international flights until 30 November:
- Flights between Greece and Turkey and Greece and Catalonia in Spain will continue to be suspended
- All flights to and from Albania and North Macedonia will only be operated at “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens international airport
- Travellers hailing from 11 select countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, Belgium, Spain, Albania and Northern Macedonia) will have to present a negative PCR test upon arrival
- The entry of non-EU citizens will continue to be banned
Rules for domestic travel
For those wishing to travel domestically, authorities have also prepared new instructions meant to protect their health and to stop the spread of COVID-19. The main point of the new rules is that until 30 November, all airports in the country will only be allowed to operate for essential travel, including business and entrepreneurial activities, family and health reasons or a return to a permanent place of residence.
The introduction of these new rules comes as COVID-19 cases in Greece continue to rise rapidly and as the government tries to get the situation back under control. During the 1st wave of the pandemic Greece stood out as a country that managed to quickly contain the disease but this time, the situation is looking markedly different./TheMayor
A record 43 people who had suffered from Covid-19 died in Greece Wednesday, and there are currently 297 intubated patients in intensive care units around Greece — representing the highest number of intubated patients recorded in one day since the beginning of the pandemic.
A total of 2,752 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in the country over the last day.
The rapid increase in the number of intubated patients has led to immense strain on the Greek healthcare system, as the number of beds available for use by Covid-19 patients continues to decrease.
This is particularly evident in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, which has now become the epicenter of the virus in Greece with 777 out of Wednesday’s 2,752 cases. In Attica, home to the capital city of Athens, 635 cases were recorded.
According to Vasilis Kikilias, the Greek Minister of Health, nearly one in three people, or 32%, who were tested for Covid-19 in Thessaloniki have been diagnosed with carrying the virus. The sheer number of cases in the city has led to a lack of beds for Covid patients in ICUs there.
Greek health officials announces that 50 ICU beds from the cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and vascular surgery clinics in Thessaloniki will be converted to beds for patients with the virus, a drastic move to ensure that no patients are turned away from hospitals due to lack of space.
Of the 2,752 new cases announced on Wednesday, just 39 were identified during testing at Greece’s points of entry.
In total, 63,321 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Greece since the beginning of the pandemic, including all those who have recovered from the virus. Of this total, 4,556 are associated with foreign travel and 17,036 with contact with a known case.
Of the 297 intubated patients, 82.8% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their median age is 65, and 82 of the patients are women. A total of 347 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country.
The 43 new deaths recorded on Wednesday bring the number of total fatalities in the country to 909. Of those who lost their lives after suffering with the virus, a total of 369 have been women.
The median age of those who passed away from Covid-19 is 79, and 96.7% of them were over the age of 70 or had underlying health issues.
New Emergency Measures
Considering this precarious situation around the country, with the number of deaths and intubated patients rising rapidly, Greek Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Chardalias announced emergency anti-virus measures on Wednesday.
Starting Friday, all movement outside one’s home from 9:00 PM – 5:00 AM will be prohibited, except in the case of medical emergencies, walking a pet, or for workers who are carrying the necessary documentation.
If citizens must go out under these specific exceptions, they still need to send the necessary SMS.
Fishing and hunting are no longer allowed under the new measures.
Additionally, only essential personnel are permitted to go to their place of work, and all others must work remotely from home./GreekReporter
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