Greek authorities are planning to lift Covid-19 measures by the end of March but only for those who are vaccinated, said Health Minister Thanos Plevris on Monday, adding that Omicron was a “dangerous” variant.
Plevris said those who had chosen not to get vaccinated are putting themselves and society as a whole at risk and cannot enjoy the “normalcy” to be provided to those who received the jab against the deadly virus.
“I believe that by the end of March most of the measures that apply to the vaccinated will have been lifted. Obviously, some will remain, such as masks and some distancing measures, which, however, do not affect normalcy,” he said, warning however that there can be no complacency.
Greece’s health minister reiterated in an interview to ANT1 television that healthcare professionals who are not vaccinated will not return to their jobs on April 1.
There are two options, Plevris said: “Vaccination will be a standard qualification, so anyone who has not been vaccinated will be required to leave the National Health System, or the suspension from service period will be extended for the duration of the pandemic, at least until the end of the year.”
Plevris said he has proposed to the Covid committee that vaccination become an official qualification for work in the public health care system.
Looking ahead, Plevris said Omicron was “dangerous and serious, not a simple flu”, but that it was not as fatal.
“This gives us a window of optimism combined with increased vaccination coverage and the availability of antiviral drugs,” he said, adding however that health experts are expecting a resurgence of Covid in September.