Mask use may be expanded further as local Covid cases rise


The government is mulling additional restrictions to contain a spike in Covid cases – and community transmission in particular – just as mask use became stricter on Wednesday.

“The situation is under control so far, but certainly causing concern. We’re skating on thin ice and it can crack at any minute, especially if scenes of crowding, among young people in particular, continue,” Athens University infectious disease expert and government adviser Nikolaos Sypsas told Kathimerini.

His warning came after health authorities on Wednesday reported 57 new Covid-19 cases, of which just 10 concerned travelers coming from abroad. They come on top of 52 new cases on Tuesday, 11 of which were imported, and 35 on Monday, of which just four related to travel from abroad.

The public and staff are as of Wednesday obliged to wear a face mask in retail stores, banks and state services, among many other venues, on top of supermarkets. Churches and larger private workplaces are likely to follow.

Adviser Yiannis Toundas of the Athens Medical School is also recommending a campaign promoting safe practices, particularly ahead of the peak of the holiday season, when compliance tends to relax. “The data does not yet show a flare-up of a second wave, but we have all the combustible material for that to happen,” he said.