ATHENS – Although the grim toll of COVID-19 deaths in Greece has surpassed 25,000 as the pandemic is set to begin a third year in March, the falling number of cases has led the New Democracy government to relax restrictions.
That was based on recommendations from an advisory panel of doctors and scientists who have been guiding health measures, but whose offered directions haven’t always been followed.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who backed away from a pledge to consider mandatory vaccinations if the pandemic worsened – it did and he didn’t – has turned attention now to accelerating an economic recovery.
While the unvaccinated are still allegedly barred from going into most public gathering spots apart from supermarkets and pharmacies – no report how it’s being enforced other than by establishments where people are entering – his government wants to give the vaccinated more freedom of movement, said Kathimerini.
As of March 1, the eased restrictions will allow 50 percent capacity at sporting matches instead of 10 percent, to let people in nightclubs stand up instead of being required to stay seated and to let students take school trips.
But the committee wasn’t in favor of the February Carnival period or allowing large events to celeberate but reportedly talked about allowing indoor carnival events only for the vaccinated.
The health advisors were said to be worried that parades could become super spreader events, especially with more travel now and could upset plans to further contain the pandemic although anti-vaxxers are still spreading the Coronavirus.