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Time we became our own guardians, PM says, urging vaccination

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Greece will not go back into lockdown and restrictions will not be imposed on people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis insisted on Tuesday, saying that it is time for people to become their own “guardians.”

“The solution is right in front of us, in our hands. It is in the hands of the shopkeeper, the mayor and the priest who needs to preach the value of life. It is time that we became the guardians of our own health and of the health of the people around us,” Mitsotakis told a meeting of his New Democracy party’s parliamentary group in Athens on Tuesday.

“It is obvious that we are faced with a very strong fourth wave. But we have the vaccine and this is what is making the difference, what is preventing the direct correlation between infections and heavy hospitalizations, what is keeping the economy open and productive, and allowing society to circulate,” he said.

The prime minister also appealed to his MPs to spread the word on the importance of vaccination in their constituencies and reach out to community leaders. “The pandemic is hitting the unvaccinated,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by two key government officials earlier on Tuesday.

“The philosophy of the measures will not change,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris told Skai TV, indicating plans to continue with a mix of measures that basically imposes restrictions on the unvaccinated.

Addressing concerns about rising infections among children and teens, meanwhile, Education Minister Niki Kerameus said that “there is absolutely no discussion” of schools being closed down.

Indicating that outbreaks would continue to be addressed with the closure only of the affected departments or schools, Kerameus said in a post on Twitter that just six out of more than 80,000 school departments across the country are currently closed to deal with Covid-19 outbreaks and there are no plans for a remote learning. She also claimed that the proportion of school-aged children among the newly infected has eased from 29% to 25%.