Students will be allowed access to university lecture hall as of the next academic year, which starts in October, only if they are vaccinated or take a weekly rapid test, according to the scenario the government plans to pursue.
These measures have so far already been decided by the the Senate of the University of Athens, according to a statement it issued on Thursday.
This option is the favored one given that academic institutions are expected to operate with in-person attendance.
Deputy Education Minister Angelos Syrigos, responsible for higher education, said as much in comments to Kathimerini, noting the availability of vaccines that offer protection to students, and the use of other precautionary measures, such as masks and the weekly rapid or molecular test for the unvaccinated.
“We cannot discuss not opening the universities anymore, as we have the option of vaccinations,” said Syrigos.
Nonetheless, it remains too early for conclusive decisions while the fourth wave of the pandemic is in progress.
However, on the other hand, it is believed that the intensity of the wave and the fact that it is impacting people in their 20s will lead many cautious students to the vaccination centers.
As for the September exams, the model of the previous academic year will be adopted, with mainly remote attendance.
Meanwhile, health authorities on Thursday announced 2,794 new coronavirus cases and six deaths. Seven of the cases detected involved tourists tested upon arrival. Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 450,512, with 12,819 dead.
A total of 132 patients remain intubated in intensive care units while 2,740 have left ICUs.
The Delta variant currently accounts for 50% of coronavirus cases in Greece, the president of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Dimitris Thanos, said.
Only four cases of the highly contagious variant had been detected in the country until two weeks ago.
Thanos said that Delta will be the dominant strain earlier than previously forecast, adding that the fourth wave of coronavirus is already under way. He said that vaccination is the best protection against the virus, notwithstanding the fact that mutations lower vaccine effectiveness by 10-15%.