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Greece Experts Warn of ‘Harsh’ Autumn Ahead as Covid-19 Cases Soar

Constitution square (Syntagma), Athens.

Greek health authorities expect the number of Covid-19 cases to soar in September and October and are warning of a harsh fall ahead after a spike in incidents over the last few weeks.

Epidemiologists expect to see the number of cases increase due to the return of Greek holidaymakers and lax adherence to measures over the summer.

The government is expected to announce new measures to address the pandemic next week, said Government Spokesperson Yiannis Economou on Thursday. New rules may include admission to closed venues (restaurants, bars etc) only to vaccinated individuals as well as mandatory mask wearing. Other measures under examination include employees being required to take (and pay for) two PCR tests every week.

Greek infectious disease expert and Covid-19 committee member Charalambos Gogos confirmed this week that Greece was currently experiencing the fourth wave of the Covid pandemic with the highly transmissible Delta variant now prevailing.

Greece Goes ‘High Risk’ Red on ECDC Map

Gogos went on to add that the unvaccinated face the highest risk, adding that the viral load was steadily increasing.

Over the last 24-hour period, Greece recorded 3,273 new coronavirus cases and 20 deaths with Covid-19 ICU units at 63.06 percent capacity.

The increase is evident on the weekly ECDC map published on Thursday, which includes popular destinations such as the Ionian, Dodecanese and Cyclades islands and Crete, where lockdown-style measures are currently in effect in Rethymno, Chania and Heraklion until 6am on August 25.

“We are not finished with the pandemic. The government is offering all the weapons available to stop the virus and restore daily life to a good level in autumn and winter,” said Economou, adding that the times require maximum seriousness and responsibility “in order to reduce the cases, limit hospitalizations and losses”.

Reiterating the importance of vaccination, General Secretary at Ministry of Health Marios Themistocleous announced on Thursday that the National Vaccination Committee has decided to proceed with a third vaccine dose in September for certain vulnerable groups including individuals who have undergone organ or marrow transplants, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and kidney patients.

Meanwhile, starting today, unvaccinated travelers coming from 13 countries and wishing to enter Greece will be required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival at the airport.

According to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) Covid-19 rapid testing is now mandatory for unvaccinated travelers – regardless of nationalitycoming from Egypt, Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Georgia, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Libya, Morocco, Russia and Turkey.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. Carl+Simpson Reply

    Still many Greeks refusing the vaccine it’s a shame the cases are rising because of this.

  2. R Ferguson Reply

    We have had Delta in the UK for weeks, its more contagious but symptoms are runny eyes, runny nose sore throat, they are not worried as thousands at football matches cricket etc. Cases do not mean infection false positives are very hi due to Governments putting the bar hi to achieve a negative test. Scientists have said for ages after 20 cycles no infection, yet labs go to 37 cycles and sometimes 50 so vast majority of cases there is nothing wrong with the people.

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