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Greece is mulling new coronavirus-measures incl. masks outdoors

Greece’s government is mulling new coronavirus measures including the possibility of wearing the face mask outdoors again, government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou said on Saturday morning. He added that the new measures in force as from September will be announced next week, most likely on Tuesday, August 24.

Speaking to Skai TV, Oikonomou said that “the measures are a framework for the operation of economy and society” and implied that there will be additional pressure on the unvaccinated citizens with testing requirements.

“Either these people will be vaccinated, or they will get sick, endangering the whole society, and those who have been vaccinated, and that is unfair,” Oikonomou said.

He pointed out that it is very important to restore the mask outdoors if health experts recommend it.

He added that there will be specific criteria regarding specific activities like shopping.

Those who are vaccinated will have more options in their free time and for movement, while the unvaccinated ones will have laboratory tests 1-2 times per week from September onward at their own expense, at a predetermined price, he said.

The government spokesman ruled out a new general lockdown.

“There will be no general lockdown. There is no case for the economy to shut down,” Oikonomou stressed.

Greece is facing an increase of coronavirus infections, intubations in ICUs and deaths in the last few weeks, while the vaccination program has suffered alarming slow down. By August 21, only 53,7% of the population is fully vaccination with another 300,000 people to have received only the first jab.

The government goal is reportedly to contain the spread of the coronavirus and the the Delta variant.

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  1. I maybe extremely thick but fail to see how an unvacinatted person puts a vacinnated person at risk, surely the reverse is the case, i am currently unvacinnated and will keep a low profile until i can get the jab whereas the jabbed are out and about everywhere possibly spreading it, additionally I’ve seen a number of tourists freely walking about in shops unmasked and un challenged which possibly isn’t helping the cause

    • you are correct, the vaccinated can spread it just as the unvaccinated, that is what I understand, but maybe I am thick too! Now that the tourists are leaving for their winter break, I guess its back to blaming us here in Greece for spreading it. Get your masks ready for that time you are alone in the park, ‘just to be safe’

    • The problem is when shop workers challenge these non mask wearers they get verbally and sometimes physically abused so you can’t blame them for keeping their mouths shut.

    • I am vaccinated. I have absolutely no problem coming into contact with unvaccinated people either indoors or outside. I can still spread or contract this virus as can they. There is a difference. If I contract it is probable that I will not become too ill and not need medical assistance. If unvaccinated people contract it it is probable that a large proportion of them will require medical assistance. Some people are not fully vaccinated not by choice but for other reasons…e.g. medical reasons or unavailability of vaccines. But a lot of people are unvaccinated by choice. It is this group that not only endanger themselves, but also unnecessarily endanger the health of those people that work in hospitals..etc. and increase the financial burden on the health service. While I totally agree that it is their choice to be vaccinated or not it should also be the states choice whether or not to penalise those people who put other people at risk and waste resources unnecessarily. I personally think that at the very minimum unvaccinated people by choice should bear the financial burden should they require medical assistance and apologise to those people that are affected by their actions.

      • We can further break down your argument by also looking at people who smoke and put their health as well as others in danger. Smokers have put a huge amount of stress on the health system from day dot. I guess the same can be said with alcohol and the extreme dangers that imposes on the community, associated with drink driving and physical and domestic abuse. We can also focus on people’s irresponsible eating habits, as city streets are littered with takeaway/fastfood  eateries. The increase in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, fatty liver, thyroid disease, obesity and cancer has skyrocketed over the last few decades putting enormous stress on public health systems worldwide.
        What do we do, turn a blind eye to those people and just point the finger at unvaccinated people?

      • Fair enough. Perhaps medical assistance should also be refused to smokers, drinkers, the overweight, people with sporting injuries, drivers in RTAs, etc. All these selfish people putting pressure on hospitals… In fact why not ‘penalise’ anyone who does anything that carries even the slightest risk?

    • Ich gehöre zu denen die gerne geimpft werden würden, leider habe ich bis heute trotz 4maliget Antragstellung keine temporäre amka bekommen. Der erste Antrag war ende Februar.
      Laut kep in meinem Wohnort auf kreta haben viele das Problem……und dafür muss man sich von der Regierung impfverweigerer schimpfen und mit negativen Konsequenzen drohen lassen.

    • Unvaccinated people are incubators for new stronger variants. Those that continue to wear down the efficacy of the vaccinated population and make herd immunity more difficult to achieve.

      Unvaccinated are incubators because new virus mutations are born as a result of a new transmission. Trasnmission is the mechanism that yeilds new mutations.

  2. @Mike vaccinated individuals are by various reports from US and UK are five to eight times less likely to contract COVID compared to a unvaccinated individual. If you don’t contract it you cannot transmit it. Thus all else being equal an unvaccinated person is a greater risk than a vaccinated person. Now if the behavior of the two groups is different that would be a confounding factor. Just because you are careful as an unvaccinated individual doesn’t mean everybody else is. The plural of anecdote is not data and I have seen no evidence one way or the other on behavior differences between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    • I see what you are saying but a fully vaccinated friend and his fully vaccinated wife both caught the virus recently on a trip to Spain, I’m not an anti vaxer but there are a lot of grey areas

      • Less likely doesn’t mean it won’t happen it means it is less likely. The plural of anecdote isn’t data.

  3. Well done Mike !

    Just blame the tourist

    Unvaccinated yes two tests a week and pay

    • I wasn’t blaming the tourists merely pointing out my observations this week, I saw a dozen or so tourists within a quarter of an hour or so enter a shop not wearing masks, Crete and Greece needs tourism but look at the numbers they sky rocket once tourism starts but the government deny its tourism, I am not anti tourism I have many friends who own tavernas who rely on tourism, in addition to the lack of mask wearing there is bad hygiene practices, we saw a girl walk past a restaurant the other evening, sneezed a number of times including all over a restaurant menu board no attempt to use a tissue what’s so ever

  4. The unvaccinated ones will have tests 1-2 times per week at their own expense? Well good luck with that. I will not be taking any tests, and this idiot needs to get back in his box and shut up.

  5. Good work from the government! Masks mandatory AGAIN, extra police and collect AGAIN to cover the debts. Invest in hospitals ? Nooo … we prefer xtra police!

  6. I would think the ‘government spokesperson’ should be more concerned with the piles of filthy festering rubbish that is always evident at this time of year than trying to scare people into getting an untried untested vaccine.
    The unvaccinated people clearly haven’t actually travelled anywhere to pick up any virus’s, so what’s the problem?

    • Untested vaccine? What total rubbish. How many people across Europe have had the vaccine now and how many deaths or serious illness has it prevented? According to SAGE, and remember this is the scientists not Pinnochio Johnson’s government. Around 90,000 in the UK alone

  7. Tourist season finishes, lockdown season starts. Hypocrites!!

  8. What difference will this make? Noone wears a mask even inside here in finikounda.

    • Absolutely agree. Especially people who actually work in the shops and many tourists who don’t believe the rules apply to them!

  9. The only people that came in by the millions were the “vax” tourists from abroad. As soon as they were allowed in, so were the inhabitants from Attica allowed to move around of course and they flooded the Peloponnese this year more than ever. Beaches are overcrowded in Messenia like I have never seen in my entire life. We can thus deduce that it is mostly spread by the jabbed people and that even in this period of pandemic, not many give a damn about social distancing at all, quite the contrary. Furthermore, everything indicates that the alphabetic new and future variants resist the vax. That the people who took the jab once or twice will have to repeat that, accept “boosters” and get ready to be inoculated with future vax (see The Guardian’s articles of these last days). How about liberating drugs that work, that are cheap and proven safe since decades instead of continuing with this large-scale experience on a large part of the human population?

  10. Another disgusting habit and a health risk TO ALL is people emptying their cess pits openly as they are too mean, stupid and selfish to get them emptied properly.

  11. This is beyond stupid. Vaccinated people spread the virus just as much as unvaccinated. Also masks do absolutely nothing to stop the spread. A piece of paper or cloth in front of your face does not stop aerosols. Viruses get through those, so the only thing masks do is deprive people of oxygen, and reading some of the comments on the internet, I think we have enough people suffering from low oxygen already

  12. Sandie repeats a soundbite (untried and untested) that is popular with the wilfully ignorant, the anti-vaxxers, the conspiracy theorists and extreme right the world over. However, it is not only untrue, but demonstrably false, as anyone spending five minutes googling about the development of the vaccines will discover.

    I have another soundbite. However this one is demonstrably true. The COVID pandemic is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Statistics from health authorities and hospitals in all the countries that have achieved a reasonable level of vaccinations demonstrate clearly that the majority of people who are sick with the virus, hopsitalised with the virus or dead of the virus are unvaccinated. There are almost daily reports in the press of deathbed conversions, espeicially in the USA. People who refused to get vaccinated plead for the vaccine, even though it is far too late. The vaccine doesn’t cure, it prevents. Even some anti-vaxxers who spread their message through the media have urged people to get vaccinated from their deathbeds.

    I don’t want to suggest that the moderator censors views like Sandie’s but when factually wrong statements are made about the vaccine I think the moderator should include a fact check or a warning that this statement is unsupported by the facts.

    And Sandie, who with her attitude is clearly willing to risk contributing to the deaths of her fellow citizens should hang her head in shame, or better still, do some serious reading about the science of vaccines.

  13. How they gonna enforce testing once or twice a week of unvacinated innocent people , what’s the penalty? Jail?

    These are just empty threats to frighten you, no way in hell this is gonna happen.

  14. I have medical exemption and live in a remote location beyond even the telephone lines, a kilometre from the nearest neighbour – and without a car. There are actually a lot of Greeks in this situation minus the car detail. Will the government send out representatives with PCR tests (that the WHO and CDC now say are inaccurate and will discontinue in December – so why not now, one can ask) and a cash register to test us twice weekly?

    Meanwhile our local hospital prescribes prophylaxis treatment for the exempt and unvaccinated consisting of

  15. Further lockdowns are expected.
    I’m amazed that scientific advice, which all governments claim to be following, has been able to predict that crowded beaches and bars full of strangers would be safe in the summer but less crowded beaches and having a drink with friends and family will be unsafe as soon as the tourists take their holiday money back home for the winter. Isn’t science wonderful?!

    • Actually the government said that they DON’T anticipate any more general lockdowns. They can’t afford it. They instead will instead prohibit unvaccinated from certain activities and places.

      But trust me, I personally know vaccinated people who caught Delta. One woman I know, when she caught it, said “it should be mild because I’m vaccinated.” 12 days later she ended up in the ICU.

      I’m vaccinated but I’m still careful. I remember the government said they wouldn’t have a problem in the summer due to the heat. The virus cannot transmit as easily in the heat. So God help us come October.

  16. Reading all of the above, what I see most is that these measures maintain and deepen the polarities in society and continue to turn people against each other. The vaccinated become more angry against tha non vaccinated and the non vaccinated become more angry wth the government and more entrenched in their beliefs. However, who can say if these vaccines will have long-term effects as yet unknown ? Nobody. Therefore, whatever the consequences, we should all be allowed to decide what we put into our own bodies.

  17. The article is not complete and suggest mandatory test once or twice for all unvacinated people. But I read on other news pages that this measure is only for unvacinated teachers, doctors and similar public professions. So for most of us this is not mandatory.