No autumn lockdown on the cards

No autumn lockdown on the cards

The government said on Thursday that it will not impose a new lockdown in the fall, and that there is no plan to expand mandatory vaccinations to more professional groups. 

“The vaccinated will not pay a price because of the few unvaccinated,” said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“I have said that we will not go into a new lockdown,” he insisted.

As for the restrictive measures taken recently on islands, Mitsotakis said he does not characterize them as lockdowns but “slight restrictive measures.”

According to pundits, at the core of his thinking is the position that that economic activity must not be limited in the autumn.

He also admitted that the vaccination program in August has relaxed – as expected – and that the government will try to put it back on track at the end of the holidays.

“People are away in the summer and therefore vaccination planning is more difficult, but it is certain that we must return vigorously and increase vaccination rates in the country,” he said.

He nonetheless confirmed “it is not our intention to expand compulsory vaccinations,” beyond staff at care homes for seniors and the disabled as well as National Health System (ESY) employees.

Mitsotakis also reiterated his appeal to young people returning from their vacations to take tests and to avoid contact with their parents and grandparents for a while when they return.

Experts fear a new surge in cases as people return from vacations at the end of August.

Meanwhile on Thursday, an infectious disease specialist and member of the Covid-19 Committee of Experts said the Delta variant has become the dominant strain in Greece, accounting for 79.1 percent of new coronavirus cases.

Charalambos Gogos told a press briefing that it will soon reach 90 percent, which is faster than the scientific community expected. He also noted that the number of hospitalizations has doubled in the last 20 days.

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