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Greek Government to Decide Thursday When to Impose Covid Restrictions

Photo source: Municipality of Athens

While the Greek government is considering to impose Covid-19 measures immediately after the holidays, the country’s health committee advising on the pandemic’s handling is calling for restrictions before Christmas.

Speaking in parliament early Wednesday, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris informed that the Covid-19 health committee of experts is expected to propose restrictive measures and the government will make its final decisions in order to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“The government intends, as expressed yesterday by the prime minister, to apply measures after the holidays. We will examine what measures we will take after the committee’s suggestions,” Plevris said.

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris.

The minister’s statements come a day after the Greek government made a recommendation for all, regardless of vaccination status, to self-test for Covid during the holidays.

The health minister added that frequent checks will take place in F&B and entertainment venues over the next ten days.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and depending on the data, we will determine our decisions,” Plevris said, adding that the government is aiming for the holiday period to proceed normally.

Health experts want measures now to curb Omicron variant

However, the committee of health experts later on Wednesday advised the government to impose a number of measures – before the holidays – to contain the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

The proposed measures include:

– the cancellation of all public festive events in open spaces (such as festivals)
sporting events to be held without the presence of fans in stadiums
mandatory testing (rapid or PCR) of travelers entering Greece on the second and fourth day after their arrival
– mandatory wearing of masks indoors and outdoors
– mandatory wearing of increased protection masks (KN95) or double masks in supermarkets and public transport.

Following the committee’s suggestions, an emergency meeting is expected to take place on Thursday morning in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. A final decision on when new measures will be imposed is expected to be announced.

According to reports, the health committee next week will discuss measures that should be taken after January 3.

Among those on the table are restrictions on opening hours for F&B and entertainment venues, restrictions on people per square meter in closed spaces and increasing teleworking.

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