Greece To Lift Most Remaining Coronavirus Measures

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s health minister announced Wednesday that most remaining coronavirus measures will be lifted over the next couple of months until the end of August, including the use of vaccine certificates for access to certain services and the mandatory use of masks indoors.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the need for vaccine certificates or negative COVID-19 tests will be lifted from May 1 to Aug. 31, and would be re-evaluated on Sept. 1. The use of masks indoors will no longer be mandatory as of June 1, he said, adding that some exceptions will remain, with details to be announced.

The requirement for regular self-tests for students and teachers to attend schools will also be lifted May 1, while any remaining restrictions on the number of people allowed into indoor areas will be lifted on the same day.

For the first time in two years, Greeks will also be able to celebrate Orthodox Easter, which falls on April 24 this year, with no restrictions on gatherings or attendance at churches or other public events. Plevris said the use of masks was still recommended for crowded outdoor events.

All measures are to be re-examined on Sept. 1, Plevris said.

Separately, the country’s president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, was diagnosed as positive with COVID-19, and was quarantining at home with mild symptoms, her office said Wednesday.

Greece has seen a spike in coronavirus cases with the omicron variant, with thousands of new cases and dozens of deaths each day. The country of around 11 million people has nearly 3.2 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, and more than 28,000 deaths.

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