Noting mounting lockdown fatigue across Greece over the past few weeks, University of Geneva geneticist Manolis Dermitzakis has expressed support for the reopening of retail and some leisure activities, as long as they can be carried out in the open air.
“It is obvious that right now we have a lot of transmission across the board of activities. It is not easy to control activities that take place in the home during a lockdown,” he told Skai television on Thursday night, arguing that more activities “need to be brought out of the home” and “into the open air.”
“The situation inside a house is not coordinated. People don’t wear masks, the space is enclosed, so transmission is much easier,” Dermitzakis added, echoing the views of other experts who have said that mounting frustration with restrictions is leading to increasing violations of safety rules inside private homes.
He suggested that cafes and restaurants – among other leisure businesses – should be allowed to open, but only with outdoors service. “We can have activities that are coordinated and careful, not relaxed, in areas where there is less chance of transmission,” he said.
The outspoken academic and researcher was also adamant about the destructive effects of a longer lockdown.
“I do not agree with my colleagues, who recommend waiting for another 10 days to see case numbers drop. What is their reasoning? Why haven’t they dropped yet?” he asked.
“Even if they don’t agree with what I’m proposing, we need new suggestions because the measures we have right now are not sustainable. If this lockdown continues, we’ll reach 5,000 cases a day,” Dermitzakis warned.