Residents and visitors to Greece will take a deep breath of freedom from the pressure of the coronavirus from today until mid-September, as the mandatory use of the mask in all areas is suspended for this period, with a few specific exceptions.
The mask, the simplest but essential measure of protection against the virus and mutations, has accompanied us for the last two years, especially indoors, while there have been difficult periods epidemiologically where the mask was mandatory outside.
All this from today will be a thing of the past - at least for now.
During the next summer quarter as well as the first 15 days of September, the obligatory use of the mask indoors will be suspended - outdoors it has already been suspended since the end of April unless there is a crowd.
Suspension of the obligation to use a mask means that fines can no longer be imposed, except with few exceptions.
The mask will remain a shield against the insidious and threatening circulation of the coronavirus in all public and private health structures, eg hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, etc., in all private and public nursing homes and urban public transport (metro, electric railway, buses, trolleybuses and trams).
On the contrary, in the intercity means of public transport, where the seats of the passengers are numbered, the use of a mask will not be required, while the same applies on planes.
Pupils and students will come to schools without a mask. Those who participate, either as candidates or as supervisors, in exams, nationwide, university, promotion, foreign languages, etc. are excluded.
Today, the committee of experts are expected to give a presentation on what will apply to the ships regarding the use of a mask, which remains mandatory at the moment. However, it is considered possible that the use of the mask will be suspended for the passengers of the ships as well.
In any case, the recommendation for the use of the mask remains when it is crowded and especially for the vulnerable groups of the population, as the virus continues to circulate in the community and these groups are easy targets for coronavirus.
Yesterday's recommendation of the Medical Association of Athens (ISA) is indicative for the use of a mask in crowded places, for the observance of the prevention rules against coronavirus and for the planning of the fourth dose of the vaccine.
The meeting highlighted the need to comply with the rules to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, which protects against other infections, in view of the summer season.
Participants noted the risk of spreading new strains of the virus during the summer months, which could lead to a new outbreak.
The meeting also discussed all the new data on monkey pox and cases of acute hepatitis in children and highlighted the need to follow the rules of preventing the transmission of infections, such as masking and keeping distance.
"It is important that in the coming months our attention is not diminished and that we continue to meticulously follow the rules to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, which will protect us from other infections," stressed the president of ISA G. Patoulis.
He added that the ISA and the services of the Attica Region will remain vigilant, while they have planned actions for the information of the citizens.
"It is up to us to spend a safe summer and protect ourselves and our fellow citizens," said Mr. Patoulis.
Greece confirmed 5,080 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Tuesday, bringing all confirmed infections since the pandemic began to 3,453,229 (daily change: +0.2 pct).
Of the daily total, reinfections are estimated at 570 in the last 24 hours, while their total since the pandemic began is estimated at 135,884 (3.8 pct of the total positive results).
There are also 12 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 29,845. Of these, 95.6 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.
A total of 130 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 72 years and 93.1 pct have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over. Of the total, 63 (48.46 pct) are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated and 67 (51.54 pct) are fully vaccinated.
Another 4,683 have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.
In addition, 79 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours (daily change: -19.39 pct). The average admission of patients with Covid-19 to hospitals over the last 7 days was 91.
The median age of new infections is 36 years (range: 0.2 to 112 years), while the median age of the deceased is 80 (range: 0.2 to 106 years).
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