Greece’s epidemiology experts and the government are considering additional restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country, especially after the new Covid-19 variant Omicron. At the same time there is a dramatic increase of Covid-related deaths that have been an average of 85-95 per day. Recorded is also an increase in hospitalizations und intubations, with dozens of intubated patients outside the ICUs.
According to media on Monday, the government is one step before deciding to implement more restrictions, something expected to happen this week.
The government has several new measures on the table and due to the Omicron variant their implementation is being accelerated.
The Greek epidemiologists’ committee that advises the government is meeting today Monday, their recommentations are expected tomorrow, Tuesday.
The three measures that are expected to be announced unless there are other suggestions from the European institutions to further tighten the restrictions are:
– Use of masks also outdoors. To date, masks are mandatory only indoors, and it seems that we will return to the initial phase of the pandemic where the use of masks was mandatory everywhere, both in- and outdoors.
-Further restrictions for unvaccinated citizens : they will not be able to sit in the outdoor spaces of cafes and resturants even with negative Rapid Test as it is now allowed.
– Rapid tests for unvaccinated workers should rise from 2 per week to date to 3 per week.
According to health news website healthreport, in a second phase of additional measures, there is government consideration torestrict operation hours of catering and food service businesses. According to the scenario, operation could end at 11 o’ clock at night. However, this is something the government tries to avoid due to reactions from the food service sector.
Everything will reportedly depend on how the pandemic will develop in Greece in the next two weeks as the fears of experts and government officials focus on the fact that the Christmas market can dramatically increase the number of infections. therefore, the dilemma for the government is whether the strictest restrictions should be applied immediately in order to “save Christmas”.
Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou ruled out a new lockdown on Monday saying “we are doing anything possible to contain the spread of the virus, to strengthen the public health care and to accelerate the vaccination coverage.
He added that “additional restrictions will not affect the vaccinated citizens.”