Retail and hair salons reopens today under restrictions

Retail stores are reopening to the public on Monday (Jan. 18) under restrictions, as will hair salons, beauty centers and other health and beauty services, including car inspection stations (KTEO).

In “red” areas still experiencing a heavy infection rate, retails businesses will operate on the click-away system, which allows online orders to be picked up at the store in person by appointment.

According to officials, a total of 140,000 employees will return to work, while customers will still be obliged to use the SMS (text messaging) system at phone line 13033, selecting option 2.

Store owners welcomed the reopening, saying that return to operation without an appointment system and in combination with winter sales will provide another breather for the market and prevent a Spring 2021 shutdown of stores and job loss.

The reopening was announced on Friday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and later detailed by Development & Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who outlined restrictions on the number of people allowed in a store and proposed a schedule of opening between the hours of 07:00 and 20:00.

Appointments will only be required for hair salons, barbers, beauty parlors and diet centers, in all of which owners must be prepared to show the listing of appointments to authorities if required.

Coffee shops and restaurants will remain closed but may still provide pick-up or delivery services.

General rules for stores include the following:

– Sugested hours of operation, based on owner’s discretion, are between 07:00 and 20:00.

– Stores may open on Sunday, January 24, at owner’s discretion.

– All rules about sending SMS (text) messages to receive permission to leave a residence remain in place, and may be requested at a check along with an ID.

– An SMS permit is valid for 2 hours since issued, and a consumer must complete his or her purchases within that time frame.

– Travel between prefectures is still prohibited, as is circulation outside the house during curfew (21:00 and 05:00), unless medically necessary.

– Retailers, hairdressers and beauty salons may allow up to 4 customers per 100 square meters. Stores over 100 sqm are allowed 1 customer per 25 sqm (a change from the previous 1 person/15 sqm). The latter also applies also to malls and discount villages.

– At all times, customers must be 2 meters apart while waiting to pay.

At car inspection centers (KTEO), customers must set appointments up for their car to get serviced.

At all of the above, facial masks are obligatory, along with other health safety measures.

Complaints may be addressed to phone number 1520, while authorities responsible for supervision of measures include the Greek and municipal police, the Labor Inspectorate (SEPE), and the General Secretariat for Commerce and Consumer Protection, among others.