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Greece Relaxes Some COVID Restrictions on Restaurants, Bars

January 27, 2022

ATHENS – The government will allow some relaxation of measures for the coronavirus pandemic, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Thursday, including the use of music in food and entertainment centers and longer opening hours at these.

He said however that customers at food and entertainment venues must be seated, as standing patrons are still not allowed.

The measures follow the recommendations of the specialists committee at the ministry, which will also review the expansion of the spectator capacities in sports stadiums.

In addition, Plevris said that vaccination certificates expiring this week and up to January 31 would be extened to February 7, to allow people to access vaccination centers after the heavy snowstorm early this week.

The health minister said that scaling back the measures came after lower numbers of new Covid-19 infections and improved ratios this week of hospital admissions/discharges, although he cautioned that the National Health System remains under pressure.

High-risk groups getting molnupiravir pills

Μolnupiravir pills will become available next week to people in high-risk groups aged 18+ who have tested positive with a PCR or a rapid test, Alternate Health Minister Mina Gaga said during a regular briefing on Thursday.

Approval for the pill’s use will be given within 24 hours after a doctor files online for it, Gaga said, and both the doctor and the patient will be notified by a text message. Following the patient’s consent, also online, molnupiravir will be delivered at at home. Pregnant women will not be prescribed this medication, she noted.

At the briefing, member of the Health Ministry’s Covid committee Vana Papaevangelou said that new coronavirus infections rates are stabilizing in all regions of Greece except Thrace and some islands, but active infections are very high, at 150,000 cases. The daily average of new infections over the last 7 days is 18,000, she added.

A 57% of regular Covid hospital beds are currently occupied in the country’s national health system, while75% of beds are occupied in intensive care units. Hospital admissions have dropped 12%, while 8 in 10 patients are now infected with the Omicron variant, Papaevangelou said.

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