Greece will lift some pandemic restrictions in areas where coronavirus cases are highest, its health minister said, starting Saturday.
The move, initially implemented for two weeks, is part of a campaign to provide more freedom to those who have been fully vaccinated against the virus and shots to a larger non-vaccinated population. To encourage to receive.
“Red zones” across much of northern Greece and parts of central Greece implemented restrictions last month, including a 1 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and a ban on music in bars and restaurants, in an effort to quell a fourth wave of the virus. is included in.
Health Minister Thanasis Palevaris said at a news conference on Wednesday that under the looser rules, being able to run concerts, restaurants and entertainment venues would be allowed to host permanent customers.
They will be open only to those who can show evidence of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID infection. In line with restrictions introduced last month, which are set to remain in place through March, people without vaccinations will remain barred.
Those measures bar unvaccinated people from indoor venues, including cafes and restaurants, and force non-vaccinated workers to undergo routine coronavirus testing at their own expense.
Mr Pleveris said the easing of rules starting later this week was not an attempt to penalize non-vaccinated people.
“The philosophy is not that some people are being preferred over others,” he said. “Measures without vaccination are enough. Those who are vaccinated can have more freedom.”
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, vaccine hesitancy is relatively strong in Greece, where 57 percent of the population of about 11 million have been fully vaccinated, compared to about 63 percent in the wider European Union.