ATHENS – Just starting to slowly recover from COVID-19 lockdowns that kept them closed for months off and on, restaurateurs in Greece are worried that soaring cases driven by anti-vaxxers will bring more restrictions.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had walked back from a promise to consider mandatory vaccinations – critics saying he feared a political cost – but now is said to be looking at measures to deal with soaring cases.
Some 2,000 restaurants have closed since the pandemic began early in 2020 and health advisors to the New Democracy government, whose recommendations have been set aside, said there will be more Coronavirus waves.
Giorgos Kavvathas, President of the federation for restaurant professionals (POESE) and of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVEE) said the number has doubled since the start of the summer.
Curiously, many of those that closed were not in areas with little foot traffic but in areas with high to middle incomes, said Kathimerini, as well as those in busy areas that nevertheless failed.
The government had said only the vaccinated would be allowed into restaurants but has now allowed mixed areas, sending mixed messages and seeing the virus spread – which ironically could hurt the economy.
Despite a record number of cases, Kavvathas said more restrictions aren’t needed, only for the current alleged measures to be enforced, which isn’t happening in many cases, anti-vaxxers winning the day.