Greece's Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis has ruled out the possibility of a nationwide lockdown but said additional restrictions on the unvaccinated that come into force from Monday seek to ensure that the market stays open at Christmas.
Georgiadis made the comments during an interview with Skai television on Sunday and said that the additional restrictions are there to contain the spread of virus transmission
"The measures are being taken because we have to place a barrier to the spread of the pandemic and not arrive at the situation prevailing in northern Europe," Georgiadis said about the additional restrictions on the unvaccinated.
He emphasised that the measures were not "punitive" and that their aim was to protect the individuals involved, as well as others: "The unvaccinated are at risk and we want to protect them...because their health is at risk, our national health system is also at risk from higher admissions."
Georgiadis said a general lockdown was not in the government's plans as "we do not consider we have the moral right to impose one because 75% of adults are vaccinated." He also pointed out that Greece had given more money as a proportion of its GDP to support businesses and could bi longer afford to do so.
"The idea of a lockdown without financially assisting businesses is like driving them to bankruptcy. Therefore let us forget this scenario," he said.
The minister did not rule out the possibility of yet more restrictions targeting the unvaccinated, while stressing that creating additional ICUs was not a solution unless the spread of the pandemic was first stopped.