Tornos News | Greece switches to regional Covid-19 lockdowns but calls them restrictions
Greece’s attention is focused on restoring the economy, not additional lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, with the plan to use tighter health restrictions if necessary – almost identical to lockdowns .
Following the shutdown of non-essential businesses in 2020 and 2021 as the pandemic raged and severely affected revenues, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government is focusing on businesses and investors.
That’s even if some areas have faced near-lockdown conditions, particularly in northern Greece, as the Delta variant – as well as anti-vaccines refusing injections and people ignoring health measures – continued to spread the coronavirus.
Unnamed officials told Kathimerini that recent restrictions on Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, and adjacent regions were not closures, but restrictions, although the conditions included curfews.
They said the government was “the same restrictions that were imposed during the summer on islands such as Mykonos, for example” which largely failed because so many people ignored them, the same is now happening elsewhere .
Areas classified as red impose a nighttime curfew from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. – although this does not apply to people who have to travel for work or for health emergencies – and a 24-hour music ban in all entertainment venues, including bars and cafes, the paper added.
Mitsotakis, in a meeting with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, said that “on the road to the end of the pandemic, our economies cannot suffer further restrictions”, even though he has imposed them under another name.
This flies in the face of earlier warnings from health officials and members of the government advisory group of doctors and scientists that a fifth wave of the virus could once again overwhelm the country this fall.
But unidentified government officials also told the newspaper this winter will be different from 2020 as more than half of the population is vaccinated – but still far from the 70% benchmark that health officials have declared necessary to slow the pandemic.
Mitsotakis said earlier he would consider mandatory injections for everyone – only healthcare workers need to be vaccinated for now – if the pandemic worsens, but has pulled out, admittedly to focus on income .
There are also some 600,000 unvaccinated people aged 60 and over, the most vulnerable groups, who are feared to fall ill or be hospitalized and put on ventilators, putting more strain on the national health system. with thousands of healthcare workers including unvaccinated doctors now suspended.
The decision whether or not to organize the annual military and student parades on the National Day of October 28 will not be the same across the country and will depend on the epidemiological state of each region, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said. .
“Any decision made for parades in the red zones will also apply to Thessaloniki,” he said and urged citizens of the northern port city to get vaccinated, a plea that has failed with anti- vaccines, the city with the lowest vaccination rate. in Greece and Europe when it is a bastion of New Democracy.
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