ATHENS – A month into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic that still has a deadly grip on the country – several dozen die daily – residents in Greece nonetheless are trying to live as normally as possible despite the specter of the Coronavirus.
More health restrictions were lifted on May 1 in a bid to further entice tourists and even anti-vaxxers can reap the benefits of the pandemic receding – because of those who got vaccinated.
Bars, restaurants, taverns, museums, archaeological and historic sites are bustling again and no report on whether the unvaccinated are being checked or stopped or allowed in although they had been barred.
Kathimerini noted that, reporting that anti-vaxxers will have access to places and can mix with the vaccinated, although those who didn’t get their shots are primarily responsible for spreading the virus still.
No vaccination, disease recovery or negative coronavirus test certificates will be required to visit retail stores, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and other public gathering places, a victory for the anti-vaxxers after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis backed away from a pledge to consider mandatory shots.
The only exception is one – instead of two – rapid tests per week for unvaccinated workers and wearing masks indoors for at least another month although they will likely come off on June 1.
At the same time as opening the doors wide, the New Democracy government urged caution and Health Minister Thanos Plevris said restrictions could come back if there’s a resurgence in COVID, predicted for autumn.
“Conditions now favor the lifting of measures. A large part of the population is immunized,” said Charalambos Gogos, Professor of pathology at the Medical School of the University of Patras, but he stressed individual responsibility which doesn’t work with anti-vaxxers and those who think COVID is a hoax.