Government officials insist there will be no strict lockdowns this year, even as some restrictions have been imposed in some areas placed on red alert, the highest risk level (Level 4) on Greece’s Covid-19 map.
“2021 is not 2020,” these officials insist, adding that the recent measures imposed on Thessaloniki and other areas are not a lockdown, but “the same restrictions that were imposed during the summer on islands such as Mykonos, for example.”
Regions classified as red impose an overnight curfew from 1 to 6 a.m. – although this does not apply to people who have to travel for work or for health emergencies – and a 24-hour ban on music at all entertainment venues, including bars and cafes.
The decision not to impose lockdowns was also expressed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a meeting he had Thursday with Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger.
“On their way to the end of the pandemic, our economies cannot suffer further restrictions,” Mitsotakis said.
Government officials say that another reason this winter will be different than the last is the vaccinations and the fact that a large part of the population is now immune, either because they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or because they got sick and recovered.
There is, however, a cause for concern which involves the 600,000 unvaccinated individuals aged 60 and over. These are the most likely to be hospitalized and put pressure on the National Health System.
The decision on whether to hold the annual military and student parades on the October 28 national holiday will not be the same across the entire country and will depend on the epidemiological status of each area, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said Thursday.
“Any decisions taken for parades in areas that are red will apply to Thessaloniki as well,” he said and urged the citizens of the northern port city to get vaccinated.
The city has the lowest vaccination rate in Greece and Europe at 53 percent.