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Greece to Decide on Covid-19 Measures for Carnival Festivities

Photo Source: @karnavalipatras

Archive photo of the carnival held in Patra. Photo Source: Karnavali Patras

Greek health experts are examining the possibility of lifting Covid-19 controls for the vaccinated ahead of Orthodox Easter in April but due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, carnival festivities to kick off next week will most likely be held with restrictions.

Speaking on SKAI radio on Monday, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the exact rules of operation for carnival season would be announced in the coming days, most likely on Thursday, adding however, that epidemiological data is still not encouraging.

He stressed that the government’s goal was in any case to return to normalcy “as soon as possible”. 

The Greek Covid committee is aiming to gradually lift all measures for the vaccinated by Easter following the example of other countries, Greek media reported. 

Photo source: diaNEOsis

According to SKAI, the government is considering lifting measures in two phases: the first foresees no restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals but still requires mandatory mask-wearing. Restrictions for the unvaccinated will continue.

The government will also be revising testing measures and pandemic indicators and will continue to carry out inspections at schools as part of the second phase.

Referring to the use of masks, Matina Pagoni, president of the Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors’ Association (EINAP), told SKAI on Monday that there may be a possibility of removing masks by the summer, adding however it will be difficult to do away completely with masks, especially indoors and on public transport.

Earlier on Monday, Plevris said 330,000 residents were back to “unvaccinated status” and that their Covid certificates had expired due to failure to get the booster shot.

Source: European Parliament

“Citizens who have not received the third dose seven months after the second will not be allowed into closed entertainment and recreation areas and will be required to provide rapid test results for admission to work,” he said.

Starting today, vaccinated travelers with a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate coming to Greece will no longer need to be tested for Covid-19 before their trip.

In the last 24-hour period, Greece reported 10,985 new Covid cases and 95 deaths.

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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 SETimes.com, 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. John Zoumboulis Reply

    Sounds very Orwellian to me.

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