Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that young adults hanging out in bars are primarily responsible for the transmission of the coronavirus in Greece.
“We tried many plans but they were betrayed by the behavior of some people,” he told lawmakers in Parliament opening a debate about the government measures to contain the virus.
“We know today what were the sources of the outbreaks. We are saying this to explain to society that these behaviors create a public health problem for everyone. The main source for the spread was the entertainment of young people.”
He said reistating a lockdown “was not an easy choice” because apart from implementation, the measures also need to be adapted.
Mitsotakis admitted that tougher restrictions should have been taken a week ago in Thessaloniki to avoid the rampant spread of the virus.
“We could have imposed the use of face masks everywhere earlier, limit the evening entertainment earlier, take measures in Thessaloniki earlier,” he said.
He also defended the government’s decision to reopen to tourism in July without compulsory testing for all arrivals, arguing that if health authorities had conducted PCR test on all arrivals Greece would have ended up with 10-20% of the tourism it actually had.
He insisted that the jump in infections “is not linked” to the opening of tourism this summer. “Countries that remained completely closed, such as Israel, saw a second outbreak of the coronavirus in September. Cyprus has had stricter procedures and is being hit just as hard,” he said.
Mitsotakis also said that Greece may get the new Covid-19 vaccines in January 2021.