The Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipandela, announced new health measures today aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus during the Christmas Holidays. The measures were approved at this morning's Cabinet meeting and announced during a press conference at 4 pm.
According to the announcement, the Council of Ministers have decided:
(a) schools will re-open on January 10 after the Christmas break and all students, teachers and other staff must submit a 72-hour negative PCR or 48-hour Rapid Antigen rapid detection test.
(b) the extension of previous measures announced along with accompanying provisions until January 15, 2022.
(c) as of December 22, 2021, all workers who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination program or hold a disease certificate (180 days) are required to submit a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen Rapid Detection Test valid for 7 days before entering their place of work. Employees who received the booster/3rd dose of vaccine are excluded from this requirement.
(d) From 22 December 2021, all citizens must have a rapid test showing a negative result before participating in holiday gatherings inside homes. Individuals who have received at least two doses of the vaccine may perform a self-test, while those who have not received any dose of the vaccine are advised to take a Rapid 48-hour Rapid Antigen Detection Test. A maximum of 20 people are allowed for holiday gatherings including main residents and minors.
(e) the reduction of the validity of the COVID-19 recovery certificate from 6 months (180 days) to 3 months (90 days), effective 31 January 2022.
(f) From 22 December 2021 until 6 January 2022, children aged 12-17 can visit restaurants (including restaurants in malls and hotels), theaters, amphitheaters, cinemas, auditoriums, indoor and outdoor stadiums, weddings and christenings after presenting a negative PCR or Rapid test taken within the last 72 hours, provided that they are accompanied by a parent/guardian who has completed his vaccination course.
(g) the same measures as in nursing homes and closed structures will apply to visitors and staff in day care facilities for vulnerable groups, as well as day care centers located on the same premises as nursing homes and other closed care and hospitality structures for the elderly and vulnerable groups.
The statements of the Minister Health
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Omicron coronavirus variant is spreading rapidly worldwide, with many countries tightening measures or even a total lockdown. In our country from the beginning, we have taken specific strict measures, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus in the community, to keep the economy alive and to give all of us the opportunity to spend Christmas with our loved ones. We must all be optimistic, let go of the "I" and see the "we", acknowledging the superhuman efforts made by doctors, nurses and scientists to defeat this invisible threat. Now is the time for all of us to show individual responsibility and follow the measures and instructions of scientists.
We must all be optimistic, let go of the "I" and see the "we", acknowledging the superhuman efforts made by doctors, nurses and scientists to defeat this invisible threat.
In recent days, there has been a steady increase in the number of daily cases and the burden is reflected in hospitals, therefore, complacency is not allowed, as the appearance of positive cases of the Omicron variant in our country may burden the epidemiological picture, which has happened in other countries. The increase in the rate of vaccinations recorded in recent days is a key parameter in dealing with and managing the pandemic. All age groups show an increase in the vaccination rate. Specifically, in the last 10 days, 8,390 people received the 1st dose of vaccine, 11,813 people received the 2nd dose of vaccine and 71,111 people received the booster/3rd dose of vaccine.
At the last meeting of the Ministry of Health with the members of the Advisory Scientific Committee, all the data recorded by the epidemiological indicators were analyzed and evaluated and the unanimous suggestions of the scientists were brought before the Council of Ministers. And it is for this reason that I would like to publicly thank the members of the committee for the excellent cooperation that exists, always with the aim of protecting public health and preventing the spread of the virus.