ATHENS – The Greek government repeated on Monday it has no plans for another lockdown amid anxiety over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou told a press briefing that any new measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus will only concern the country’s unvaccinated population.
“The government is closely monitoring the domestic and international developments regarding the covid pandemic and we are focusing on the implementation of the measures that are already in force, but also on increasing vaccinations,” Oikonomou said.
Regarding the new “Omicron” variant of the coronavirus, Oikonomou pointed out that, at the recommendation of the competent committee, strict measures have been taken to limit and control the movements of citizens from the specific countries (where the variant is believed to have originated) that intend to travel to Greece, while he clarified that Greece has no direct flights from or to the specific countries.
Oikonomou reiterated that the government continues “the multifaceted effort to stop the pandemic, in order to save human lives, to support the national health system, but also to keep our economy, educational system and society open.”
Plevris: ‘We are prepared for the Omicron variant’
“We are prepared for the Omicron variant,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in an interview with Skai radio on Monday, while adding that vaccination rates in the country were now returning to the same levels as last March.
“We are monitoring the mutation and we expect to have a better assessment in 10-15 days. We have taken precautions. You understand that when a mutation is spreading in various countries, we are on alert. The scientific community is investigating exactly what the potential of this mutation is, in terms of transmissibility, morbidity and vaccination coverage,” Plevris said.
He stressed that vaccination was now essential and said it was important that Greece was now moving at the pace of the previous March and in terms of appointments made and daily vaccinations performed. “Many of our fellow citizens are getting the third dose, while many have been convinced to get the first dose as well,” the minister said, adding that about half a million people have either made an appointment or gotten vaccinated with a first dose of the vaccine, while more than one million have booked or received a booster shot.