Petsas: The answer to how Christmas will be spent this year is ‘in safety’

The answer to how Christmas will be spent this year is “in safety,” while citizens must keep their activity and festive meetings to a bare minimum over the holiday season, said government spokesperson Stelios Petsas on ANT1 TV on Saturday.

At Friday’s live briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias urged Greeks to keep in mind that although families are allowed to gather over Christmas up to a nine-persons maximum, it is preferable not to meet with elderly relatives, “so as to protect them and keep them safe from exposure to the coronavirus.”

Petsas reiterated that the time the curfew starts has been put forward by one hour, from 21:00 to 22:00, effective as of Sunday, when the general retail sector will start to allow customers to pick up their online orders in person, the so-called ‘click-away’ method. The time the curfew ends, that is at 05:00 in the morning, remains as is, he clarified.

Concerning the results of this week’s EU Summit, he said the EU’s approval of an extended list of sanctions for individuals or entities involved in Turkey’s illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is a “step in the right direction.” Another such step is the preparation of a report that reassesses all aspects of EU-Turkey relations, as announced by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Josep Borrell, “who said he will have it ready by March,” he added.

“Even though these are two minor steps in the right direction – not as brave as we were expecting,” said Petsas, “we have to keep what Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after the EU Summit on Friday: that the EU moves slowly; what is important to us, however, is that the EU does not prove to move slower than the expectations of European citizens, and of Greeks and Cypriots.”