ATHENS – After essentially ending COVID-19 health restrictions to lure tourists, and with most of society walking around free of measures, Greece won’t make masks mandatory for students returning to school in September.
That is despite the persistent pandemic that is still making people ill, being hospitalized and dying although the look is of a pre-Coronavirus period with masks shunned by most and anti-vaxxers allowed to go wherever they want.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that despite earlier indications that students would have to wear masks in classrooms that they won’t be forced to do so but can voluntarily.
“We do not wish to introduce additional measures … Any new measures should be mild,” Plevris said, reported Kathimerini. “I believe that masking must remain a recommendation and not an order,” he said.
He also said there won’t be mandatory regular Coronavirus screening for students and staff in favor of “targeted” COVID-19 tests, the paper said, as did Education Minister Niki Kerameus earlier.
Health authorities announced 55,769 COVID cases and 258 deaths for the week from Aug. 15-22, a rate of almost 37 a day, bringing the total since the pandemic’s start in March 2020 to 32,335 fatalities and rising.