NEWS

Health expert sees masks coming off outside soon

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The obligatory use of protective masks in public will likely be restricted only to indoor and crowded settings within the coming weeks, one of the experts on the government’s coronavirus advisory committee said on Tuesday.

In comments to Skai TV, microbiology professor Alkiviadis Vatopoulos indicated that given the continued drop in new infections and the increase in vaccination coverage, the committee will be recommending that masks cease to be required on the street on a day-to-day basis and in other uncrowded open-air settings.

“By early 2022, we will be treating the coronavirus like the flu,” Vatopoulos said, though he did not rule out the likelihood of a fresh wave in the fall, mainly among the unvaccinated.

He also said that the emergence of variants that are resistant to the existing vaccines is also likely, explaining that viruses are continuously changing. In that case, he added, vaccines can be adapted or augmented with a booster shot.