Covid-19 Restrictions May Be Reinstated in Greece if Guidelines Ignored

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas reaffirmed Greece’s firm resolve to protect the health of its people and travelers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: AMNA

Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas reaffirmed Greece’s firm resolve to protect the country’s public health on Thursday, saying that the country is even ready to reinstate Covid-19 regulations if necessary.

The announcement came during a press briefing in which Petsas addressed Greece’s July 1 opening up to tourists, saying “We knew that there will be imported cases and we organized a pioneering plan of targeted random testing and immediate tracking and tracing of cases so that they can be isolated and prevent any spread to the community.”

Petsas said that out of the 31,169 blood samples that have been collected from visitors at the border with Serbia between July 1 to July 6, only 100 tested positive for Covid-19.

In regard to the Balkan region, which has experienced large spikes of the virus, Petsas underscored his nation’s commitment to safeguarding public health, saying “We are monitoring the epidemiological data at an international level and we are ready to update our strategy.”

Greece closed its border with Serbia on Monday, July 6, due to a sudden increase in numbers of those found to be infected with the coronavirus, in keeping with advice from the nation’s health authorities.

During the Thursday briefing, Petsas also pointed out that the biggest danger concerning the pandemic was not abroad, but rather in Greece. He specifically cited the phenomenon of what he termed a “relaxed vigilance” amongst the nation’s citizens, stressing the fact that the virus has not gone away.

“It is absolutely necessary, especially now that social and professional life has largely been restored, now that, due to summer, our travels to various parts have increased, now that various events have begun in our cities and villages, I repeat, it is absolutely necessary to be doubly careful!” Petsas urged during the briefing.

The government spokesman also reiterated that the authorities are ready to reimpose public and travel restrictions next week, if needed, warning that some safety guidelines are currently being ignored.

“The economic costs will be multiplied if we allow the cases of coronavirus to increase, fill our hospitals and risk losing August and September, the two months that are expected to breathe new life into tourist areas,” Petsas emphasized during the briefing.

He concluded his address on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the degree of public adherence to health mandates by warning sternly “If we relax, we will pay for it.”