Greece lifts more lockdown curbs, reopening high schools from Feb. 1

Greece will loosen more lockdown restrictions on Feb. 1, letting high schools reopen for the first time in more than two months based on signs that the spread of COVID-19 infections has stabilised, officials said on Friday. The country, in lockdown since early November due to a spike in coronavirus cases, has seen pressure on its public health system relent in the last few weeks.

Reuters | Updated: 22-01-2021 22:33 IST | Created: 22-01-2021 22:33 IST
Greece lifts more lockdown curbs, reopening high schools from Feb. 1

Greece will loosen more lockdown restrictions on Feb. 1, letting high schools reopen for the first time in more than two months based on signs that the spread of COVID-19 infections has stabilised, officials said on Friday.

The country, in lockdown since early November due to a spike in coronavirus cases, has seen pressure on its public health system relent in the last few weeks. Greece has already taken its first steps at loosening a second lockdown imposed in November, reopening primary schools and kindergartens, retail shops and hair salons.

"After a positive recommendation by the committee of experts, high schools will reopen on Feb. 1. Students will be able to return to classrooms," Education Minister Niki Kerameos said. Vana Papaevangelou, a member of the committee of experts advising the government, told a briefing the number of coronavirus infections had steadied in recent weeks and the occupancy rate in intensive care units was now down to 44%.

She said infections looked to have plateaued and were showing downward trends, with new cases averaging 477 on a daily basis. "One month after Christmas we can say that the surge of the epidemic we feared did not occur. The committee's recommendation to reopen high schools after 2.5 months was unanimous," Papaevangelou said.

On Friday health authorities reported 585 new COVID-19 cases nationwide and 28 related deaths, bringing the total of infections since the first case was detected in February 2020 to 151,041, and total deaths to 5,598. The lockdown's remaining restrictions - affecting mainly restaurants, bars, coffee shops and theatres - were extended for at least one more week.

Also Read: Turkey, Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan. 25

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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