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Bracing for a more relaxed Easter break, expert warns against complacency

Bracing for a more relaxed Easter break, expert warns against complacency

The Easter holiday may be more reminiscent of pre-Covid days this year compared to 2021, but experts have been quick to stress that the country is not finished with the pandemic and that people should continue to respect the measures that remain in force.

“We have significant freedoms compared to last year… but freedoms does not mean that we are finished with the pandemic and need not abide by the measures,” warned Dimitrios Paraskevis, an associate professor of epidemiology at Athens University’s Medical School and vice president of National Public Health Organization (EODY).

“Last year, travel between different regional units was prohibited, restaurants were closed and the Resurrection [celebration] took place only in the churchyards,” he told Kathimerini, noting that this year there are no major restrictions on restaurants and other such venues.

“Even the unvaccinated can, with a rapid test, have access to open venues of entertainment, movement is free, we are mostly vaccinated, there is the possibility of a fourth dose for the most vulnerable groups of the population, we have vaccine adequacy and a large proportion of the population is immune,” he said on a more positive note, but went on to warn that public health safety measures must be respected.

According to the remaining restrictions, a certificate of vaccination or recovery or, otherwise, a negative test (molecular or rapid) is required to travel by ship, airplane, train or bus, while the use of a face mask is mandatory in all indoor public settings.

A certificate or test is also needed for the rental of accommodation. The same applies for admission to churches, where masks are mandatory and social distancing of 1.5 meters must be observed. Priests and chanters are exempted from the use of the mask exclusively during the religious ceremony. Masks should be worn outside the church if there is a crowd and during the procession of the Epitaph.

Entry to restaurants, bars, nightclubs and music venues, meanwhile, is only allowed for those who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months (with a certificate). Those with a negative molecular or rapid test are only allowed in outdoor areas.

Most of these restrictions will be lifted after the Easter break.