Restrictions eased with cautious steps 

Restrictions eased with cautious steps 

The government is expected, epidemiological data allowing, to make announcements regarding the next phase in the easing of restrictions, according to its spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni on Monday. 

Unless the country’s committee of experts doesn’t defer relevant decisions to Friday, the government will clarify on Tuesday and Thursday what the next steps will be regarding the SMS movement system, the nighttime curfew and inter-regional travel.

Kathimerini understands there is a possibility that an announcement will be made for the curfew to begin at midnight or 12.30 a.m. from the current 11 p.m. so that restaurants, which are among the sectors of the economy that suffered devastating blows during the pandemic, will be able to extend working hours.

As for the SMS system, its termination is seen as an almost certainty according to government officials. A similar fate is also expected for the click-away and click-in-shop systems for retail trade. 

On Thursday, moreover, detailed announcements are also expected regarding tourism by Minister Haris Theocharis. According to what is known so far, visitors will not be able to enter Greece without a negative molecular test, conducted up to 72 hours previously, or a vaccination certificate.

Another expected certainty is that movement between regions will be allowed as well. In this case, travel by ship, plane and train will require the mandatory presentation of a negative self-test. 

It has not yet been decided what will apply for car travel between regions. One idea is to allow it without any restrictions but concerns have been voiced that this could send the wrong message. Another option under consideration is to issue a “strong recommendation” to drivers to take a self-test before they travel. In this case, checks will realistically only be able to conducted randomly. 

At the same time, Peloni sought to put a brake on speculation initiated by Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis regarding the freedom of movement of people who are vaccinated.

“The discussion about the exclusive privileges of vaccinated people does not make sense, unless all age groups are [being vaccinated],” she stressed. Earlier, Georgiadis had said that vaccinated people have more rights. 

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