Plevris: We are taking all measures needed for the national health system to cope

Society will not be locked down as the government is taking all the measures that are needed for the national health system to cope, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Friday in a press conference on the details of the new measures announced on Thursday in order to slow the spread of the pandemic.

“Over 85 pct of those who are admitted to an ICU or lose their lives are unvaccinated. ICU beds have more than doubled and 12,000 staff are available,” he added.

Requisitioning the services of private doctors was a necessary measure, Plevris said and added that 80 doctors will finally be needed in the areas where the health system is under most pressure.

According to the health minister, vaccinations are proceeding at a satisfactory rate, as 900,000 appointments have already been scheduled and 75 pct of the adult population has been vaccinated.

The measures announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis are not punitive but protective and aim to keep the society open, Plevris added.

The unvaccinated, in addition to being banned from entering indoor spaces in restaurants and cafes, will now also be barred from entering gyms, museums, theatres, cinemas and other indoor public spaces, even with a negative test. However, they will have access to grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as churches with a negative test.

Also, the vaccination certificates for people over 60 will cease to be valid after seven months, unless they get a booster shot. In addition, in order to avoid overcrowding on public transport, staggered working hours are extended to the public and private sectors. Finally, Plevris announced plans to change the opening hours of the retail sector.