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Greece may ease more COVID-19 curbs from Monday, says PM

Greece could ease some restrictions and reopen shops and other parts of its economy next week after a nationwide lockdown helped contain a surge in COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.

The government imposed the strict lockdown, the second since the start of the pandemic, in early November following a spike in infections mainly in northern Greece and the Athens area.

Cases had eased since a rise in December, Mitsotakis told parliament.

“The government stands ready to implement its policy (to reopen the economy) from Monday, if there is a positive recommendation by experts,” he said.

Authorities are expected to announce a final decision later on Friday after hearing from a committee of epidemiologists.

Greece has already been easing parts of the lockdown. It allowed kindergartens and primary schools to reopen this week but postponed a decision on the retail sector, which has suffered big losses during the pandemic.

Greece has reported 147,283 infections since it detected its first case in February, and 5,387 related deaths.

It has fared better than many other European countries, despite its struggling health services, badly weakened by years of financial crisis.

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