New COVID-19 measures announced in Greece, including compulsory mask wearing

COVID-19 coronavirus mask plevris

Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced on Thursday new protection measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic after the emergence of the Omicron variant, including the cancellation of all public festive events and the wearing of a masks everywhere.

The new measures begin at 6:00 on Friday and end on January 3.

“In the last two days an increase in cases has been observed and we are trying to decodify this,” he said during a press conference.

He added that the transmissibility of the Omicron variant was very high, while the messages concerning disease severity were encouraging.

“We will have a clearer picture in 10-15 days,” Plevris said, explaining that it was imperative to take measures.

He also announced that a double or a high-protection KN95 mask must be worn on public transport and in supermarkets, effective immediately, and that further restrictive measures will apply after the holidays.

COVID-19 priest mask

For travellers entering Greece, there will be a requirement to repeat tests for COVID-19 on the second and fourth day after their entry into the country.

He advised people meeting or gathering together over Christmas to self-test as a precaution.

The minister said that new measures will apply from January 3, to be decided by the health experts’ committee that will convene again on Monday to examine the latest figures.

Plevris clarified that the measures will not resemble a universal lockdown but target mostly restrictions of recreational activities, in relation to their opening hours, and sporting events.

The opening of schools will not be affected by the new COVID-19 measures but there may be a revision of the health protocols.

He also referred to plans for a return to greater levels of working remotely.

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