ATHENS – They didn’t have to wear masks all summer when mixing with their friends and classmates, but students going back to school in Greece likely will put them back on despite the COVID-19 pandemic waning.
The requirement to take self-tests that couldn’t be monitored has been dropped, however, as the New Democracy government earlier essentially removed health measures in a bid to lure tourists, which worked.
While cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the Coronavirus have been declining, COVID is still around and Kathimerini said that the government’s advisory panel of doctors and scientists is likely to recommend masks in schools.
The final decision will come early in September just ahead of schools opening and the paper said all indications are that the mask mandate will stay, with students in close proximity in classrooms although few wear them anymore.
Dimitris Paraskevis, Vice-President of the National Public Health Organization (EODY), told the paper that, “The mask is an effective, cost-free measure and children are used to it.”
He added that it will also have an effect against the spread of the flu virus, which, based on data from the Southern Hemisphere, is expected this year to have a strong “presence.”
But the report said even if masks are required in schools, primarily if not only indoors, that it wouldn’t be implemented until October, Paraskevis said as that’s when it’s more likely the virus can be spread at that time.