Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced on Friday, July 31, that face masks will now be compulsory in all indoor public spaces and also in outdoor spaces where proper social distancing cannot be carried out. This measures comes after Greece reported 78 new confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Friday, its highest tally in about two months. Face masks were already mandatory on public transport and in supermarkets, and since July 28 in offices, retail shops, bakeries, food stores, and banks also.
Shops, bars and restaurants are open, as are other service providers like driving schools and private tuition centres, all of which have social distancing measures in place.
The ports of Piraeus, Rhodes, Heraklion, Volos, Corfu, and Katakolo will be open and cruise ships will be permitted to visit any or all of the ports from Saturday, August 1. After their first mooring, cruise ships will then be allowed to moor at any other Greek port included in their itinerary.
As of August 1, there have been 4477 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 206 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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