ATHENS -- "It is now common knowledge that developments on the pandemic front are showing signs of steady improvement," government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said in a press briefing on Friday.
She explained that "there is already a de-escalation in the number of cases, a drop in the transmission index, a reduction in hospitalisations and the number of our fellow citizens being intubated. At the same time, the vast majority of our fellow citizens admitted to hospital, who are seriously ill in intensive care, are not vaccinated. This is something that should not be overlooked by anyone."
Peloni stressed that "it is already proven in practice that vaccination works as a shield for each and every one of us, builds a wall of immunity in the community, works as a key to opening up economic and social activities. It marks the end of the health crisis and the beginning of a new era. It is already commonly accepted that Operation Eleftheria is progressing in a rapid and exemplary fashion."
Breaking things down in detail, the government spokesperson said that "about 100,000 vaccinations are performed per day and in total they have already exceeded 6.5 million."
"The common goal now is to increase vaccination coverage rates for all age groups," she added.
"Meanwhile, the continuing improvement in the epidemiological data and the positive expectations for the future allow new steps toward regaining our freedom," she said.
Peloni announced that a decision was made, based on the recommendations of the committee of experts on infectious diseases, to lift further restrictions. Specifically:
- From Saturday, the curfew will start at 1:30 in the morning. Music will be allowed in outdoor dining areas that only accommodate seated customers.
- Restaurants can resume operations in well-ventilated covered walkways and shopping arcades that have two entrances.
- Capacity in entertainment activities increases from 50 pct up to 75 pct.
- From Monday, June 14, laboratories and clinical practices for students in all semesters and for lifelong learning centres of universities can resume their operation.
From July 1:
- If the epidemiological data permits - the circulation curfew will be lifted.
- The limit for reception and catering services will be increased from 100 to 300 people.
- The resumption of fairs and markets will be allowed in the regional units where the percentage of fully vaccinated people exceeds 50 pct.
Referring to the economy, the government spokesperson stressed that "the path to freedom is already accompanied by positive messages about the immediate and distant prospects of our economy."