CORONAVIRUS

Final measures to be lifted in March 

Gov’t plans to gradually remove remaining restrictions to contain Covid by next month

Final measures to be lifted in March 

Following in the footsteps of other European countries, the government is gearing up for the gradual lifting of the few remaining measures by March, with an eye on fully opening up the economy.

More specifically, there are likely to be no restrictive measures other than the use of a mask, which is expected to remain with society in the foreseeable future.

However, the lifting of measures applies exclusively to vaccinated people, and all restrictions – like entering indoor areas – will remain for the unvaccinated.

This trend of lifting restrictions and returning to normal life has already been witnessed throughout Europe, as was evident at Wednesday’s Joint Conference of European Union Foreign and Health Ministers in Lyon. 

Kathimerini understands that the prevailing view in all discussions was that lifting the measures and restrictions is now imperative, with the health ministers of the member-states on the same page.

The first measures that will reportedly be scrapped over the coming period until the end of February are those that concern either the customer capacities in restaurants/bars or the number of seats.

Well-informed sources ruled out both restrictions being lifted at the same time, stressing that it will be one or the other. 

The aim is for there to be no restrictions by the beginning of March. 

Nevertheless, the ban on carnival events this year will not be scrapped and will apply.

Unless something changes, a full opening of the economy is expected from mid-March. This will ensure that a normal Easter period will follow, beginning on April 24. A week later, on May 1, the government also plans to announce a raise in the minimum wage.

The government will also have to contend with another, potential, problem, as around 300,000 Greeks who did not get booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine seven months after their second dose are considered unvaccinated.

Regardless, government officials appear confident that many of these people will get their boosters, and cite the rising number of appointments. Indicatively, over the last few days, about 35,000 appointments have been booked for booster shots. At this rate, in early March most of the 300,000 will have been fully vaccinated.