ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will present extra monetary assist to companies hit by coronavirus restrictions in April, the finance minister mentioned on Monday, as retailers reopened regardless of surging case numbers which have put well being providers underneath extreme pressure.
Final week the federal government introduced the easing of some restrictions to alleviate widespread lockdown fatigue, permitting small retail retailers promoting non-essential items to reopen, underneath so-called click-away and click-in-shopping modes.
Underneath the foundations, shoppers might want to make appointments and adjust to a three-hour restrict for purchasing and retailers can not enable a couple of buyer per 25 sq. metres.
The measure excludes purchasing malls and shops within the Athens space which is able to stay closed and in three areas with extreme an infection ranges, together with the main northern metropolis of Thessaloniki, retailers will stay closed.
Greece dealt with the primary wave of the pandemic final 12 months higher than many different nations in Europe however its well being providers, weakened by a decade of economic disaster, have come underneath heavy strain as case numbers have surged this 12 months.
Lockdown measures imposed in November have triggered rising discontent and left many companies struggling to outlive however Finance Minister Christos Staikouras mentioned Greece’s means to borrow on monetary markets would allow the federal government to assist.
The 130 million euro ($150 million) bundle would assist round 100,000 companies, together with some 10,800 retailers, with monetary help starting from 1,000-4,000 euros, relying on the variety of employees employed, Staikouras mentioned.
“We’re making use of funds raised from markets within the final months to assist companies and households,” he mentioned.
On Sunday Greece reported 1,955 new COVID-19 infections and 78 associated deaths, bringing complete infections to 275,414 and COVID-related deaths to eight,380.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Enhancing by Giles Elgood)
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