Greece allowed cafes and restaurants to reopen on Monday as part of a gradual lifting of its coronavirus restrictions to reboot its tourism-dependent economy and help draw in foreign visitors ahead of the summer season.
The country, which has emerged from a decade-long financial crisis in the last couple of years, is relying on tourism to help it recover from a nationwide lockdown that brought its economy to a near standstill.
With tables set far apart and waitresses wearing masks, restaurants served the many Greeks keen to get out and enjoy food and a cup of coffee again after roughly two months of confinement.
So far, the country has managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just 2,878 cases and 171 deaths – low numbers compared with elsewhere in the EU – mainly by imposing an early nationwide lockdown in March.
Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said reopening the food services sector is a prelude for the summer holiday season.
Travel to all the Greek islands was also restored on Monday, with passenger ferries operating at 50% of their capacity, as the country prepares to reopen year-round hotels on June 1.
Seasonal hotels will be open from June 15, when some direct international flights from the Athens international airport will also resume.