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Greece Rules Out Lockdown, Insists on Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Hellenic Parliament. Photo Source: @PressParliament / © Aliki Eleftheriou

Photo Source: @PressParliament / © Aliki Eleftheriou

Collective and individual responsibility are crucial to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and returning to normalcy, said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias in an interview on Monday to public broadcaster ERT.

Hardalias ruled out a total lockdown but left open the possibility of local Mykonos-style restrictions should the need arise.

The deputy minister went on to reiterate the need for vaccination, which he said was the only way out of the pandemic, adding that those who choose not to get the jab will be faced with fewer freedoms.

Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.

He added that as is common practice in other countries, non-vaccinated individuals will be required to get tested in order to participate in various social and professional activities.

“It should come as no surprise… We need to be safe from the virus,” he said.

Hardalias went on to encourage testing upon return by ferry from the islands, adding that officers of the coast guard are carrying out regular inspections on board and at the ports.

55% of Greek population is vaccinated

According to Hardalias, more than half (55 percent) of the Greek population is currently fully vaccinated, but stressed the need to increase the pace in order to achieve herd immunity. Greece recorded 1,605 new Covid cases on Sunday, 10 new deaths, and rising intubations.

Looking ahead to autumn, Hardalias admitted that government authorities were concerned, adding however that he had complete faith in epidemiologists and health experts and that there would be no countrywide lockdown.

“Each region is monitored separately every day in two separate meetings and if we need to take measures to stop the fast spread of the virus, we will take these measures,” he said.

Lastly, Hardalias clarified that “everyone has a responsibility in this battle. The responsibility is not only towards ourselves but also towards those around us, the people we love, the ones we come in contact with”.

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